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Does the option of taking express delivery for no or little additional cost sound too good to be true? Well, that is because it is! Keep reading to find out why… 

Words By Varnika Srivastava 


Express Delivery

The past decade has seen an unprecedented increase in online shopping, especially around the holiday season, and for good reason. The ease of shopping for inexpensive good quality goods is hard to ignore. As online shopping has become more and more accessible, the rise of express or in some cases, same day deliveries has been monumental. Combined with sales around the year, low cost of products and express deliveries make online shopping easier and attractive. However, too good to be true deals always have a catch. Although research has shown that online shopping has a lower carbon footprint than traditional shopping, which requires people to go to the store, this is no longer the case when quick delivery is selected. “If you know you have a 5-day delivery window, you may wait for all the items to come in from different sources, consolidate the package, and dispatch it,” Miguel Jaller of the University of California (US Davis) says. “You might also wait for more client orders to come in and combine them into a full truck load.” In a nutshell, the new research reveals that extending the shipment period allows businesses to choose the most cost-effective and ecologically responsible methods of delivery. Companies are forced to send out vehicles that aren’t fully loaded because of options like next-day delivery.

In 2019, Jeff Bezos announced that cheap items such as a 4$ pack of razors will also qualify for express deliveries. With these improvements, Amazon is attempting to compete with Target, CVS, and Walmart as the go-to shop for home things that customers need on a regular basis, according to Recode’s Jason Del Rey. Amazon claims that its quickest delivery choices (one- or same-day shipping) send goods from nearby inventory storage, resulting in shorter travel lengths and lower carbon emissions. Amazon loves to brag about how its delivery services are a better option for the environment than conventional shopping. In 2018, an Amazon sustainability spokesperson wrote, “Our data demonstrates that shipping a typical item to an Amazon customer is more ecologically friendly than that consumer travelling to a store.” To some extent, this is correct. According to a 2013 research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, internet purchasing has a lower carbon footprint than in-person buying. This is dependent on elements such as the customer’s location (city or suburbs), mode of transportation (vehicle or public transit), and product delivery speed. According to the study, if online merchants choose to improve their supply chains and packaging, they might potentially assist the environment more than brick-and-mortar businesses.

When speed and strong demand for items are put into the equation — an unavoidable effect of free one-day shipping on such a wide selection of products — that aim becomes more difficult to achieve. While delivery services might be quick and cost-effective, they can sometimes cause complications. It’s also hard to overlook the human expenses and personnel required to keep Amazon’s delivery claims. According to a Buzzfeed News investigation, contracted drivers were forced to miss meals, drive dangerously, and urinate in bottles in order to reach their delivery targets. People have started to make more small purchases for lesser things, rather than combining them in one large order, even before Amazon’s one-day delivery option was launched, according to Buzzfeed News.

Staiy Gift Cards

What is the alternative to this then? Should we just stop shopping online? Should we boycott all big online retailers? No! We here at Staiy suggest that instead of joining in the holiday rush, why not gift your loved one a gift card for the online retailer of your choosing! A big advantage that gift cards offer is that the person receiving the gift card can choose their own gift, oftentimes reducing waste. Additionally, gift cards also do not necessarily need to be used at the moment, reducing impulse purchases.