Amazon this morning launched a new delivery option for Prime members that will allow them to control when their orders arrive, Amazon Day. The option lets shoppers pick a day of the week to take delivery of their recent orders. The boxes arrive together on the selected Amazon Day in fewer boxes, the company says, which makes deliveries more predictable.
The move clearly benefits Amazon by reducing the number of deliveries drivers have to make to the same address, while positioning the option as a new Prime “perk.” However, there are benefits to grouping shipments like this. For example, if you live in an area where package theft is a concern, you could make your “Amazon Day” a day you are scheduled to work from home, for example.
It also means you’ll have fewer boxes to break down and recycle, which could be useful for regular Amazon shoppers concerned about waste.
Amazon says it tested the new shipping option with a group of Prime members and found that Amazon Day reduced packaging by “tens of thousands” of boxes over the course of several months. An Amazon rep would not confirm how many Prime members were participating in that test, however.
The new delivery option is considered part of Amazon’s larger set of sustainability initiatives focused on achieving Shipment Zero – its plans to make 50 percent of all Amazon shipments net zero carbon by 2030.
“Amazon Day adds another level of convenience to the many shipping benefits Prime members already enjoy. Prime members can now choose to get their orders delivered together in fewer boxes whenever possible on the day that works best for them,” said Maria Renz, Vice President, Delivery Experience at Amazon, in a statement.
To use the new feature, Prime members can select the “Amazon Day” option at checkout and pick the day of the week that works for them. Throughout the week, as you place more orders you’ll continue to pick “Amazon Day” as your delivery option. The items then deliver free on the day of your choosing.
Most items can be ordered for Amazon Day delivery up to two days before the chosen day arrives.
However, setting an Amazon Day option doesn’t prevent you from ordering other items for faster delivery, if needed. That means you can still set deliveries to free two-day shipping, one-day shipping, same-day shipping or two-hour delivery, where offered. In addition, your Subscribe & Save items will continue to ship on their own schedule.
Amazon currently runs several initiatives aimed at reducing its impact on the environment and energy consumption, including things like Frustration-Free Packaging and Ship in Own Container. It also has a network of solar and wind farms, solar on its fulfillment center rooftops and investments in the circular economy, though it has recently been dinged by Greenpeace for not moving quickly on commitments to shift to renewable energy.
Other retailers are making similar moves to focus on their environmental impact of e-commerce. Walmart this week announced its own plastic packaging waste reduction commitments across over 30,000 SKUs, and Etsy said it had become the first global e-commerce company to completely offset carbon emissions from shipping by purchasing offsets from its partner, 3Degrees.
These decisions aren’t entirely altruistic. Consumers – especially those in the younger demographic – are increasingly concerned about the sustainability factor and environmental impacts of e-commerce purchases, and this can influence their behavior when it comes to where to shop.
Amazon Day is rolling out today to all Prime members in the U.S.This post was originally published here