The world of ecommerce is best known for its wide variety of products, low prices, and ‘click to buy’ business model. The lesser aspect that we all take for granted is the shipping. Where data-driven analysis has turned the lowering of prices into a backroom art form, shipping them becomes a universally hated add-on charge at the checkout; what was an incredible deal instantly becomes average at best. However, there are a number of companies who have been turning the shipment of items from something slow, shady and wasteful, into the very embodiment of effective, conscious consumerism.
Modernizing a Material Process
Many of us have heard the news that Amazon plans on managing its enormous number of deliveries by drone, and perhaps this is a future we should expect. Yet in the meantime, delivering goods remains a puzzle for many ecommerce companies. There are three key areas in which current shipping strategies fail consumers: they are slow, wasteful, and expensive. Crucially, most online purchasers are savvy and not afraid to abandon their cart at the final stage. This is why many young companies are coming up with new ways to make their delivery system appeal to busy, young, ethical customers.
Free and Easy
Modern technology has already given us so many advantages when it comes to shipping products. Tracking a delivery enables customers to watch every step of their item’s journey, as well as being able to select exact delivery dates and times. Yet many people simply don’t want to have to pay for these types of benefits; shipping should not be a luxury, it is a necessity. In this example, free delivery has been known to make the difference between a sale and an abandoned cart at the checkout.
This is especially true for those who are looking to purchase a large and bulky item. For instance, British company Eve sells high quality mattresses (which arrive in a small box) and guarantee free delivery anywhere in the UK. Pitched alongside their reasonable prices, for many people this delivery option demonstrates a company who puts their customers’ needs first.
Keep it Speedy and Local
The race to deliver items as quickly as possible is what defines the advantage of online shopping from the physical experience. With the advent of Amazon’s same-day delivery service, the market has become even more competitive. In order to ship quickly, you need to have local fulfilment centres where the sorting can be done instantly before being packed up for shipping nearby.
Where large companies rely on their financial might to operate these vast centres across a country, smaller outfits such as the lauded We Deliver Local instead form partnerships with the shops in a local area and coordinate their resources between them. The outcome of this is that not only do your items get delivered straight to your door – We Deliver Local assures you of a strict 90-minute deadline – but there is the added benefit of knowing you are supporting local businesses.
It’s become the least funny joke that we all have come to expect: a three-metre parcel turns up outside your door, within which five layers of packaging conceal a small pair of earphones. The level of waste is extreme, especially concentrated on cardboard and plastic materials. Indeed, it has been reported that Amazon has received over 33 million complaints about their packaging since 2009. In reaction to this, many companies have sought an alternate route that focuses instead on finding environmentally friendly ways to get your items from A to B.
The beautifully named Tiny Box Company is one such brand that has adapted its shipping methods in order to minimise the environmental impact of the business. By using eco-friendly packaging and recycled boxes for their jewellery, huge amounts of waste is reduced, and anything that can’t be recycled is given to schools for arts and crafts projects.