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Marketing Viewpoint by Ruth Winett

What's Wrong with This Picture?

We are all complicit. It is very convenient to order things online, but for the sake of the environment, we all should be more thoughtful about our online orders. And, businesses should be less wasteful in the way they package and deliver orders.

Unfortunately, ordering several items from the same vendor at once may not work because the vendor may have run out of some of the items; moreover, the items may come from different suppliers. I ordered three items from CVS, expecting that the items would come in one box delivered at one time. Instead, I received three deliveries in three separate boxes.

As pictured below, one delivery consisted of a large box that only contained a single small bottle of vitamins. This was a waste of packaging and a waste of the time and energy of the people responsible for shipping, handling, and delivering the package. It was also a waste of gas. These small deliveries monopolize drivers and trucks that could be used for larger deliveries. Furthermore, delivery trucks for small shipments like these contribute to traffic congestion.

Delivery Box

What can we do?

  • Consumers should do more in-store shopping when the pandemic ends. Even then, shoppers should plan ahead and combine errands.
  • Businesses should offer discounts to encourage customers to wait until all of the items they have ordered are available for a single delivery. Amazon reduces shipping costs for customers who are willing to wait a few days for their deliveries.
  • Packaging companies should design environmentally friendly options that use less cardboard and packing material. While discarding packing material clogs landfills, recycling these materials uses energy and adds to pollution.
  • Businesses should stock packing materials in a variety of sizes and shapes and made of environmentally friendly materials. Some companies now use smaller padded envelopes rather than large boxes.
  • Stores should collaborate on reducing their environmental impact. Public demand will soon necessitate this.

Let’s hope that as the pandemic ends businesses — and customers — will realize they have a collective responsibility to find new ways to reduce their environmental impact.


Actionable Business Insights

Copyright © 2/22 Ruth Winett. All rights reserved.

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