Thoughts about same day delivery

I find myself having unfavorable thoughts about same day delivery, and thought I’d solicit others’ opinions.

I’m pretty sure most if not all of my reaction reflects old-fogeyism, so I hoped a discussion might slow my descent to obsolescence. :smiley:

I think a major part of my disfavor reflects a thought that very few things are important enough that someone needs them the same day. Not sure if “delayed gratification” is a positive, or some archaic rationalization.

I wonder if there are costs associated with providing same day delivery which are borne by everyone - including folk who would be willing to wait. Generally there is a lower price if you are willing to accept slower delivery.

Same day delivery seems to directly challenge brick and mortar stores. Of course, delivery may provide savings compared to individual trips. And I don’t know about the impact on jobs - retail vs delivery.

I guess if you need to warehouse product, it doesn’t make that big of a difference whether everything is stored at a few huge warehouse, or more widely dispersed sites which enable same day.

No, of course this isn’t a huge issue. And it certainly does not keep me up nights. But it seems as tho society is going along towards more immediate gratification, and I was hoping to tweak my perception so as not ti get increasingly out of touch.

Do you similarly feel that when I go to a store to buy something, I should have to wait until the next day to pick it up?

Some of the same-day delivery services (Google Express, for instance) get the stuff from bricks and mortar stores.

Are we talking about the area and logistic challenges of Andorra, the 48 contiguous states or Brazil? Depending on the logistic situation, the difference can be huge.

I guess a good portion of my concern is the costs involved. I’ve got a buddy who works in logistics - I’ll talk to him next time I see him. And I am in the Chicago area.

Part of me feels as though businesses are trying to get people accustomed to expecting immediate gratification. Then, when that is expected, they will pass along the full costs. Of course, I do not know that same day necessarily involves higher costs.

I also feel a part of my unease reflects my perception as to what individuals ought to do to support their own existence. It used to be that the average person did their own shopping, cleaning, chores, etc. Wealthy people hired help for various tasks. I realize that no one wants to take it to extremes - grow your own food for example. But I also feel unease if we move towards everything happening at the push of a button.

If I go to the store, my expectation depends entirely on the product/service. If I’m picking up toilet paper, of course I expect to carry it home with me. If I am buying something custom or that is not in stock at the store, I would expect it to take time to ship.

Of course there are costs associated with same-day delivery that aren’t found with slower delivery. That’s why same-day delivery costs more. People who, for one reason or another, are willing to bear that extra cost pay it. People who aren’t willing to, don’t.

So when you go to the store, you only expect to take home things that you need that particular day?

What I am saying is, I fail to see the difference between going to a store, buying something, and taking it home that day and ordering something online and getting same day delivery. It seems you think one is okay, but the other is not.

I was thinking about this following a transaction yesterday. My wife was ordering a music instruction book. As I understand it, there was one price for either same day or 2 day delivery, and another lower price for 2 week delivery. My wife didn’t need it yesterday, but preferred not to wait 2 weeks. Since same day was the same price as 2 day, she selected same day.

Part of my response is that I’m astounded that someone would have this book available in a location that they could get it to our house within hours.

manson - we seem to be talking past each other. I never said “I only expect to take home…” and I don’t know why you would re-characterize what I’ve said. You do not see a difference, but I do. I’m not saying one or the other of us is “wrong.” I’m merely trying to suss out why I perceive something differently than the trend I see society moving in.

I understand the OP’s concerns. But like it or not, it seems to be a permanent change. (At least until something goes drastically wrong, like a full-scale nuclear war.)

It might help to consider that we’ve been moving towards this for decades, if not centuries. Before Gutenberg, if a person wanted a copy of a book, he had to wait for somebody to copy it by hand. Afterward, he could buy a pre-printed copy.

Before the Industrial Revolution, clothes had to be made either by hand or by muscle-driven machinery. That’s a long time to wait.

And most people were farmers–if you wanted fresh fruit or vegetables during the winter, you had to wait until you could plant the food, and then wait while it grew. Then people moved to the city, and started buying their food from stores. Then in 1867, the refrigerated railroad car was invented. Now fresh food could travel long distances. Then came planes–now we can go the the store in just a few minutes, and in winter buy fresh fruit that’s been shipped thousands of miles.

In short, if you look at history through this lens, it appears as though the entire chain of technological advance through centuries has been aimed at instant gratification.

Honestly, I’m not trying to re-characterize what you’ve said, just trying to understand.

I don’t see the difference between same day delivery and buying something and taking it home the same day. What’s the difference?

I can buy a book online and have it delivered that same day, or I can go to the bookstore and buy it and have it at home the same day.

You say the trend is society moving toward “immediate gratification” but that is exactly what going to a store and buying something is - I get it immediately.

As somone that works for a shipping company, I am all for it. :slight_smile:

Actually, life moves on. I am not sure why some people get so adamant about technological changes.

I know people that despise the scan and go at Sam’s club. They say it takes jobs away from people. Nevermind that usually you see less than 5 people scanning purchases and they already had those hand scanning self checkout lines (which they also disagree with). They still seem to have the same number of people scanning, but shorter lines than before.

My point is, the market will deliver what people want. Amazon builds smaller warehouses in various areas and stocks them based on what the locals might want (not likely to carry snow shovels in the south). Those warehouses provide for same day and 2 day and longer shipments. Amazon is looking at how to build their own shipping network. The same day stuff seems to be handled much like Uber. It costs more for the delivery. It is not available for every item. A driver not employed by them (more of a contractor) picks up the item(s) and maybe some others if similar deliveries in the same area and then delivers.

I know that with our company they spend a huge amount of money on shipping. But they are also hugely profitable, so clearly whatever their model is works.

Economies of scale bring down the prices overall.

One day maybe we will have transporter tech like Star Trek and then we can have really instantaneous delivery (yes I know it is virtually impossible to transport matter).

I think the OP is asking whether same-day delivery pays for itself, or is partially subsidized by people who don’t use that option.

But I suspect the answer is, it hasn’t paid for itself yet, and it’s too soon to tell if it’ll pay for itself in the long run. Starting up such a service requires a lot of up-front cost (additional warehouses, additional inventory, contracts with delivery people, etc).

I feel like I get a little bit of the concern. Maybe.

Amazon has begun to build up my expectations about the ability to get many items the same day, often with minimal or no extra cost. If it take me 3 minutes to order a power strip that I’ll have by that evening, or 45 minutes to get dressed and drive to Best Buy to pick it up, I’m almost certainly going to choose Amazon unless the item I need is an actual emergency. I’m not exactly worried about Best Buy at the moment, but I can imagine a lot of smaller brick-and-mortar businesses being impacted by lots of people doing the same thing and foregoing physical trips to the store. Even brick-and-mortars that do online shipping are not going to be able to compete with the cost or the speed with which Amazon is currently delivering a lot of everyday items.

So I’m understanding the question to mean, if some of these competing stores eventually start going out of business, might we become so dependent on Amazon and the concept of same-day delivery that Amazon can then start jacking up same-day prices, but where we WON’T have the option of running to Best Buy (or Barnes & Noble or wherever) to just pick it up ourselves? Given society’s trend toward the inability for people to go as long as a stop light cycle without having to pick up their smart phone, it would not surprise me to see us “trained” to be dependent on same-day delivery expectations. And as Dinsdale says, even those who don’t care about the instant gratification may not have another choice at that point, and still bearing the resultant costs.

The prospect of us completely turning into such a society strikes me as extreme at the moment. But not as impossible as it ought to.

Thanks for all the answers. As I’ve tried to stress, this is NOT a big deal for me. I’m the outlier who rarely buys anything on-line. For most purchases, I prefer bricks and mortar. Of course, I live in an area with any imaginable store within a short-ish drive. And, my needs/preferences are such that - other than sufficient food to stave off starvation, I RARELY care if I get anything the same day I think of ordering it. So the entire mindset that sameday delivery is desireable is foreign to me.

This gets at some of my concern - which we’ve discussed her before. I wonder how much of this type of demand is created by the sellers, as opposed to the buyers. Technological changes are often touted as “what the people want.” But change may responds to what relatively few want, and eventually the majority has no choice.

The single day delivery of something like a music book “feels” inefficient - in terms of natural resources involved. But I realize that the sellers/shippers are interested in little above economy, so I suspect I am simply ignorant of the costs involved.

There are several hidden Problems associated with same-day delivery as opposed to normal (that is, normal mail) delivery.

  • yes, it’s usually intended as competition to brick and mortar stores. If online suceeds in driving them out of Business, they become a quasi-Monopoly. Similar to how small Shops were driven out by Walmart and similar.

  • it puts a stress on the delivery/ logistic Service. Normal mail is collected at one time, and delivered all at the similar time. Same-Day means that an extra Driver (often paid below-wage) and an extra vehicle have to make an extra trip in Addition to the normal mail. That means more trucks on the road: more fuel burned, more traffic jams.
    Partly to adress this issue, and partly because of traffic jams/ distances, they can’t guarantee same-day in all cases, Amazon is testing delivery by automated drones. However, in my opinion this only moves the Problem to another Level: instead of traffic jams on the street, there’s now the danger of dozens of drones buzzing around. Do they file flight plans? What if a second Company also sends drones, but Amazon drone doesn’t know there’s something in it’s path - Crash?

It’s one Thing to do this for very important Special deliveries that actually are time-sensitive, but only make up 1% of total volume delivered. It’s another if it’s meant to be the Default Option - because brick-and-mortar has been replaced - and so the volume rises to 90%: congested roads / congested airspace.

The online companies put pressure on the logistic companies to cut costs - so same-day is not too expensive to drive off customers - so the Drivers will be paid below-wage. This means higher temptation to ditch a load behind the bushes because it’s too much. If the delivery Company has to pay a fine for late delivery, they might go bankrupt or get creative.

So there’s a cost for the enviroment: more traffic; for urban traffic: more jams; for workers: conditions worsening.

And for what benefit? Under normal conditions, most stuff can be bought in brick-and-mortar, instead of delivering diapers or books the same day. So I wish the extra Price would stay high so that customers would think " do I really Need it now, or can I wait for normal mail?" before choosing same-day.

I ordered a heating pad from Amazon yesterday morning at about 8 am. it was supposed to arrive by 9:30 last night and it did not.

It’s possible that the book was in a retail bookstore or music shop close to you, so rather than supplanting the B&M store, the same day seller supported it.

Yeah, I guess that is a factor I was ignorant of - that Amazon has arrangements with B&M stores. So essentially, it is like hiring a personal shopper to run a shopping errand.

[quote=“StrTrkr777, post:11, topic:806966”]

I know people that despise the scan and go at Sam’s club. They say it takes jobs away from people. Nevermind that usually you see less than 5 people scanning purchases and they already had those hand scanning self checkout lines (which they also disagree with). They still seem to have the same number of people scanning, but shorter lines than before.

I despise check out at Sam’s Club in general. I don’t find the scan and go handy if I have a cart full of products (and why shop at Sam’s Club for a couple of items? ), and there are never enough human run lines open. My answer is to shop at Costco.

I don’t understand the OP’s concern. Any time I can buy something from Amazon without putting on my pants is a win for me.

But OP was asking if there are other costs against your comfort. Or, if ordering online is necessary, why can’t it be delivered with normal mail?