After coming under fire for using excess packaging when shipping comparatively minuscule items last year and being charged with tainting the spirit of Father Christmas in a commercial, e-commerce giant Amazon is wrapped up in another holiday-themed snafu.

Recently, some Amazon UK shoppers were disappointed to receive their packages devoid of the company’s signature brown wrapping. Instead, items arrived in original brand packaging with just a delivery label applied over the top, leaving nothing to the imagination for unknowing recipients who caught sight of packages upon delivery. In response to complaints pitched on Facebook, an Amazon representative explained that the company was trying to minimize the amount of packaging it used, echoing a vow Amazon made last year to become less wasteful. The representative added that shoppers could still select the “Gift” or “Ship in an Amazon box” option when purchasing presents online.

When it comes to shipping, packaging is often an afterthought. However, given that fulfillment is often the final point of interaction between buyer and seller, it plays a key role in the consumer’s shopping experience.

According to L2’s Omnichannel report, 51% of premium shoppers believe that custom or signature packaging makes a product feel more valuable. They cite luxury brands like Tiffany & Co. and MR PORTER as examples — both of which use the same packaging for all items, even when, as in MR PORTER’s case, multiple brands are available. While Amazon has a reputation for selling everyday items, the e-tailer could soon add luxury into the mix. Bringing back the original packaging would help the company retain its claim to both ubiquity and exclusivity.

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