Slower delivery, fewer packages. Is it a step back in time or Amazon’s newest innovation for reducing packaging waste and delivery costs?
Bucking current trends for quick delivery including the success of its own Amazon Prime service, the company is now asking Prime customers in its test market to choose one day each week for consolidated deliveries.
“Amazon Day” is Amazon’s latest attempt to slow the deluge of demand for two-day deliveries and to reduce the number of boxes shipped to households. Amazon Prime subscribers can order throughout the week up to two days before their preferred delivery day, and all the orders will be shipped out at once.
Video Spotlight: Amazon to let Prime members choose what day of the week to deliver
This post is based on the Seattle Times article, Amazon aims to save packaging, reduce emissions with designated delivery day, by Benjamin Romano, February 28, 2019; the Fortune article, “Amazon Day” Shipping Option Aims to Reduce Deliveries and CO2 Emissions, by Grace Dobush, March 1, 2019; and the YouTube video, Amazon to let Prime members choose what day of the week to deliver, by Good Morning America, March 1, 2019. Image source: Candace Trew Camling/Wilkinson Studios
1. Why is Amazon taking a step that seems at odds with what most customers want in terms of speed and service?
Guidance: Amazon, like other companies, is struggling to find the means to deliver an ever-increasing number of packages in a fast, timely way. Some experts say that urban freight traffic from online shopping has doubled in the last ten years and will do so again by 2023. To ease traffic congestion, fuel usage and emissions, and the wasted packaging involved with shipping one or just a few items per box, Amazon is considering this new alternative for delivery.
Amazon already offers options whereby customers can opt for a credit towards a future purchase for choosing slower delivery option. Furthermore, Amazon had to increase it’s Prime fee from $99 to $119 a year, due to the number of shipments its customers were requiring. Grouping deliveries may help decrease the need for further fee increases in the near future.
2. What benefits might customers experience under the program? Why might some elect to use it?
Guidance: To the extent that not all customer purchases need to be delivered urgently, consolidation may have some perceived benefits. By consolidating deliveries, customers could select a day when they will be home, possibly cutting down on package theft. By limiting deliveries to one, predictable day rather than multiple days a week, it may also be easier to notice if a package has gone missing. Finally, some customers may value the sustainability aspect of cutting down on box usage and fuel emissions needed to deliver their purchases.