I order almost everything on Amazon. It is more convenient for me to order something on Amazon than it is for me to drive across town and wait in a line to buy it. Most of the time, I don’t need something that second. I am also an Amazon Prime subscriber. I like being able to get things fast. Free two day shipment is a nice feature to have and it’s worth the yearly price for me. However, not everything needs to be here that fast. Most of the time, I have items shipped to my office, which works because it’s my office and I have employees here to accept packages if I am not here. Before I had employees and when I worked from home, I would either miss deliveries or packages would be left on the porch at my house. Packages being left on your front porch these days is not ideal these days. We have had a box of diapers stolen off of our porch, and we live in a decent neighborhood. Diapers are expensive and sometimes they get shipped in their original box with logos on display for someone driving by to see. My wife is not always home when UPS comes by either, so we risk packages sitting on our porch for who knows how long.
When you order something, you have no easy way to control the shipment after it has left the facility. I know that through some clicking, you can have UPS hold a package or deliver it on a certain day, but who has time to go through that process? It is not easy to do and the average user of the internet would not be able to figure it out. This issue of not always being home when the package is set to arrive led me to think about a different way of determining date of delivery. Amazon has already made it inexpensive to have next day delivery, so why not offer a “Name Your Delivery Date” option?
I am sure that Amazon gets killer rates on shipping, but I am certain that ground is still cheaper for them than 2 day. When I know that I need something, I need to order it now or I will forget. When I order it, I know that I will get it 2 days later. If I do not select the free 2 day shipping option that comes with my Prime account, I get an option to send it “standard” delivery. They give you an estimated date of delivery but it’s not something you can change. Imagine being able to enter the date you want it delivered and Amazon would make sure it arrived that day. Most of the stuff we order does not need to arrive in 2 days and I would prefer it all to arrive on the same day, even if I didn’t order it on the same day.
There are items that I end up having to go to the store to get that I could have ordered off of Amazon. There are either items that I forgot to order from Amazon and now am out of or are items that I have on order with Amazon through Subscribe and Save, but ran our early.
Amazon has a Subscribe and Save option for most items that we usually buy repetitiously, such as diapers and other household goods. With Subscribe and Save, you can set the date that you want it delivered but this must always be the same date and at the least, 30 days apart. As you add more Subscribe and Save items, it suggests that you get them all on the same date, but that date is not easily changeable with out canceling your previous items and resubscribing to them. I also know that you can figure out a way to have everything delivered on the same day, but it should be easier.
Name Your Delivery Date
When we go to the grocery store, we usually take a list. We take a list because it’s an accumulation of items that we have needed over time. We take a list because it contains items we noticed we needed since the last trip to the grocery store. It’s not convenient to go to the grocery store each time we need something.
I realize that it is wasteful to have random items arrive periodically throughout the month. It’s a waste of cardboard used for boxes and resources used up by shipping the box to my door. If I could create a basket of items that would all ship at once on a date I selected, I could end some of the waste. It would also result in me spending less time opening boxes and putting stuff away. Amazon would save in shipping costs because it would only have to ship one large box of my goods instead of multiple smaller boxes.
I don’t want Amazon to get rid of free 2 Day delivery or $3.99 Next Day delivery. There are times when I want something delivered right away, and I am fine paying the cost of Amazon Prime and/or $3.99 for that expedited delivery. I have heard that amazon is testing out Amazon Lockers, which is a self-serve kiosk you can have your package shipped to to pick up on your own time. I don’t see this as being a convenient option unless you like paying for shipping only to have to go somewhere to pick up your package.
There are actual services like this that will do the shopping for you and deliver it on a specified date and time so I realize that people understand the need for this. The problem is the cost. These services come at a premium. I just don’t understand why it is not an option for companies like Amazon to offer. We could still place orders as we need to and add them to our bulk delivery that will come on a predefined day. From the moment we first add an item to the “Name Your Delivery Day” option you can continue to add items to the order until the cutoff date for it’s shipment.
Amazon could also tier the discount their normally give to Subscribe and Save customers so that if you were ordering an item every 30 days you would get the normal discounted rate but if you ordered it earlier or later, the discount would be less. As I write this and process my thoughts, I am seeing a different way to order common products online. Those of us who order things like diapers online, do it for the convenience. Amazon’s pricing is not that much different than Costco on diapers, especially since Amazon now has to charge sales tax. It is already convenient to order items from Amazon and if you need them fast, they have you taken care of. The only aspect missing is the option to make acceptance more convenient for those of us who are not home during normal delivery hours.
tl;dr: Amazon could save a lot of money on shipping while at the same time adding convenience for their customers by adding a “Name Your Delivery Date” type option which would allow us to place orders and add them to a bulk order that would deliver all on the same day.