With the UN Climate Summit currently in the news we can't help but think about the impact regular shopping can have on the environment.
Everything we do impacts the environment some how but what we do to offset our impact has to count for something. So, let's talk about regular shopping versus online shopping.
When we say regular shopping we mean the old fashioned way- physically going to stores to purchase things. There's a good chance you use a vehicle to transport yourself to the various shops, compare items in different stores (which may require a bit more driving), then drive home. If you forget anything you'll find yourself making another trip in your vehicle (very common!).
Some say that regular shopping keeps their costs down because they are frequently aware of their purchases. We'd be surprised to hear if people were factoring in the cost of transportation when thinking about this. Bonus points if you do think about your impact and choose public transit or cycling!
Really, we think the justification is split equally between people who say they're saving money by shopping the regular way and those that save by shopping online. When shopping the regular way transportation is a factor, when shopping online shipping can be a factor. The key word here is 'can'. For many retail websites shipping is discounted or even free (Note: our next blog post will feature tips on how to save money by shopping online). So, shipping charges aren't always a problem.
Getting back to the green conversation- you're definitely right if you're thinking that the packages you order online have to get to you somehow. And that somehow is usually airplanes and trucks. While completing a study at the University of Washington engineers found that, "Delivery service trucks produced 20 to 75 percent less carbon dioxide than the corresponding personal vehicles driven to and from a grocery store."
Similar studies have been conducted all over the world, Per Square Mile (www.persquaremile.com) highlights interesting stats from a comprehensive study organized in the U.K. They say, "If you want to reduce your carbon footprint, their results were unequivocal: Shop online. If you drove to the store, you’d have to buy 24 items to make the trip equal to the carbon footprint of just one item ordered online. If you took the bus, you’d have to buy eight." That puts things into perspective.
Some articles talk about reducing carbon footprint with grocery delivery specifically (Amazon Fresh, Google Shopping Express, Fresh Direct, PeaPod, Spud, etc.). When a fleet of trucks is delivering groceries to many homes, it cuts down on all those people driving to and from grocery stores, much like the online shopping example given above. It adds up when you start to think about it. Delivery companies are very conscious about their environmental impact and costs these days, so they're taking measures to cut back on both. Most delivery companies have sustainability reports on their websites detailing what they've done to contribute to the fight against climate change- UPS, FedEx, Purolator, Canada Post.
Next time you think about buying something, stop and consider whether or not it would be better to purchase it online. Save time, carbon footprint, and even money (think about the gas you're saving and deals you can find online). And when you're considering this also think about the delivery companies that have a mandate to return to your home or office two or three times to avoid missed deliveries. Instead of having them make those extra carbon-emission filled trips, use a Got-it Box so everyone can guarantee a first time delivery!
You, Delivery Companies, and Got-it Box working together to make things greener!
If you're ever given the opportunity to learn about interior design, take that opportunity! It is such an interesting field. We were lucky enough to hear an interior designer speak in a lecture-series type of event recently and it was eye-opening. One of the first things explained was the difference between interior designers and interior decorators. Apparently people in both careers have to answer that question quite a bit. As Lauren Flanagan put it, for About.com, "Both interior designers and interior decorators create beautiful and functional spaces, but they are separate professions."
We're blogging about interior design and decorating because we think Got-it Box offers function to interior space, whether in a home or an office. And in some cases home offices.
Designers and decorators are looking for unique pieces. It's probably considered a bonus if these pieces have an interesting look and can then add function to a space.
While exhibiting Got-it Box at different events we've had people ask if it could be used in a home. Some have suggested using it for sensitive documents, others have asked if anyone has used one for a gun-safe. One lady mentioned that she deals with precious gems for her jewelry business and could see a Got-it Box securing them nicely. We have plenty of these examples and we think it comes down to this: if you want to lock something up in your home or office but the look of a traditional safe isn't for you, Got-it Box can get the job done!
It can also get the job done outside the home or office.
Just because Got-it Box can add function to your home doesn't mean it can't add that neat look you were also trying to achieve. Is the front of your home a little boring? Maybe you're considering hiring a landscape designer to mix things up a bit. When thinking about what you want your front yard and deck to look like, keep Got-it Box in mind.
Aside from collecting packages, mail and other items dropped off when you're not home, Got-it Box can be quite the conversation piece. Your neighbours will be very curious about the new addition to your yard decor. We suspect they'll ask you about it and then realize that they too could use this functional, decorative piece.
*special thanks to The Commons Calgary for the use of their space to capture Got-it Box in a work environment.
If the malls are slowly on the way out (see blog post Death of the mall), then what's the next big thing in shopping?
How about a point-and-shoot app for your phone that allows you to instantly find your most coveted items online...and then purchase them!
Welcome to the future. Amazon recently announced that they have created an app to do exactly that. Point. Shoot. Purchase.
Firefly, the app, is available on Amazon's new Fire Phone through a dedicated button. The premise is this: when you see something you want, use Firefly to take a photo of the bar-code and purchase the item(s) on Amazon when they appear on the screen. But, it doesn't stop there. You can use Firefly's audio-recognition capabilities to pinpoint specific music, TV shows and movies. The app can even narrow a TV show down to not only a specific episode but the scene it can hear. The point of this feature is that you can be directed to purchase the episode or season of the TV show you inquired about. Same goes for music, you'll be directed to digital downloads.
This blog isn't about whether or not you'd give up your iPhone or Android for the Amazon Fire Phone with Firefly. It's an example of the direction society is moving with consuming. Online shopping is pretty easy, but someone at Amazon decided that it should be easier.
How long before Amazon's competitors announce something similar? We'd be surprised if Apple and Google didn't introduce an idea related to this for their phones soon.
There are other apps, though not as sophisticated as Firefly, offering a similar experience to their users.They seem to be predominantly found in the fashion industry.
Asap54 is a popular one. If you see a celebrity in a magazine wearing a skirt you love then simply take a photo of the skirt and the app will try to match it. You'll either be given the exact match from the retailer who sells it, or a few similar items that you can choose from. It also lets you take photos of items you own to help find matching accessories. It's pretty neat! You can't purchase directly from the app but it acts as a gateway to the retailer.
Slyce is a Canadian company about to launch. According to their website, "Slyce is revolutionizing retail and consumer engagement by allowing shoppers to search for and purchase the things they want simply by snapping a photo with their smartphone or scanning and image on their desktop." It's exciting to hear that this company is in a few cities across Canada and getting lots of attention in the media! If their website is any indication of how good their app will be, it's looking pretty exciting!
These are just a couple examples showcasing a new way to purchase your wares. Before we know it this could be the most efficient way to shop...maybe?
If you're prone to shop online and you think that will increase in the future, you may want to consider a Got-it Box. Keep those items secure once they're delivered to your home or the office.
There's a new way to shop and it seems pretty fun!
Here's the gist: look for subscription boxes online, find the ones that fit your style, place your order and then get ready to receive awesome packages each month!
So, what kind of packages are available? All kinds! It's pretty neat to see what's out there.
Birchbox launched in 2010. They say that they are "the best way to shop for beauty and grooming products." After you join, you'll receive a monthly delivery of beauty, grooming and lifestyle samples tailored to your profile. It seems pretty popular, as they've been getting some really positive press!
Ipsy is very similar to Birchbox, but they ship to Canada! With each monthly delivery you get five items along with a makeup bag.
In 2012, the Dollar Shave Club was formed. Depending on which razor you choose, the price can range from $4 to $10 a month. According to the testimonials on their site, being a member saves you about $100 a year in razors! They have a very entertaining ad that's definitely worth a minute and a half of your time!
The list could go on and on, really. Besides the three beauty and grooming examples, you can subscribe to monthly packages from companies offering natural food products, pet food and toys, university care packages, books, etc. The best site to help narrow your search seems to be: http://www.subscriptionboxes.com/
Some of the packages from these companies have mystery items, chosen by stylists and gurus in their fields. That seems to be the fun part for most people receiving them. If you're happy with the products and want more you can buy from the sites where you received their packages. Perfect!
And it's not just the niche markets getting into subscription packages. Target just launched their own subscription delivery service! The difference with their subscription program is that you select the products you receive on a monthly basis. It's easy, you can choose from categories of everyday essentials: baby, grocery, health, beauty, household essentials, personal care, pets, and home & office. They even offer free shipping and discounts. This service seems to be exclusive to the United States right now but we'll keep an eye our for it to be introduced in Canada. If you live in the United States, why wouldn't you want to start subscribing for your everyday items?
TOMS Roasting Club is our final example, though we could go on for days about subscription shopping!
TOMS is known for their One-for-One program. The business model is this: you buy a pair of shoes and they give a pair to a child in need. Simple as that. Since applying that model to shoes they've grown to incorporate sunglasses, household items, clothes, jewelry and even coffee! Their coffee department is where we found the subscription shopping option! And why not, really? If you're like so many other people, you need to keep your coffee stocked up; you never want to run out of your favourite brew! Once a month you can receive your fix of coffee in the mail, all while providing clean water to areas that need help.
Why water? You can read a letter from the TOMS creator here to find out about that decision.
Are you sold on subscription shopping yet?!
Subscription shopping is even easier when you can have your items shipped to a Got-it Box. With so many new ways to shop and receive items these days, Got-it Box is the solution for keeping your packages secure.
If you find a subscription you'd like to participate in check to see if they offer special shipping instructions. If they don't ask them to add that to their website so you can secure the monthly deliveries to your Got-it Box. They'll be happy to know you're interested in their items and want to keep them secure once they're delivered!
A porch pirate, as defined by Urban Dictionary, is a person or persons who steal packages off of unsuspecting customers' porches or front door areas.
This is a thing! It seems to be growing right along with online sales.
When unattended packages are left for hours they become enticing to those who are inclined to steal. Leaving packages on porches has become an acceptable delivery practice which means more and more packages are susceptible to being stolen...or pillaged, if we're thinking in pirate terms.
Porch pirates are such a concern that you can find news stories, videos and articles dedicated to avoiding them. In most of the examples we found, concerns seemed to spike before the holidays, naturally. However, online shopping is increasing all year round so it would be smart to consider this problem for all 12-months, not just December.
Some porch pirates are brazen enough to follow behind delivery persons and snatch packages as soon as they're dropped off. A day of looting packages would produce quite the haul of treasures. You wouldn't want to find out that your packages were delivered only to be stolen. Once the retailer and delivery companies have notice that the packages were in fact delivered they can't do anything to compensate you for the stolen items.
There are families living in residential neighbourhoods who have installed security cameras on their porches. Much of the news coverage of porch pirates comes from private security footage. This example from Denver, Colorado sums up the issue pretty well. Along with this video from California posted before Christmas, last year.
With the porch pirate news stories, the reporters offer suggestions or consult experts on how to work-around this issue. In this example you'll hear a crime stoppers coordinator listing ways to evade porch pirates. But, do you know what else can take care of this pesky problem? A Got-it Box!
Hassle-free, guaranteed first time delivery. That's what a Got-it Box can offer all while eluding porch pirates.
Makes sense to us!
A few more sources:
We all know this is a hot topic! But really, why would you want a parcel drop box that doesn't meet your needs?
Other mailboxes, package drop boxes and parcel drop boxes may compare to Got-it Box but they don't offer the versatility, flexibility, or utility. How unsatisfying.
Our competitors offer parcel drop boxes for packages on the smaller side. For some this is because the units themselves are quite small but for others it's because the packages have to move through a series of 'shoots' to land on the bottom. You wouldn't want to get home to find a) your package on the step next to your parcel drop box or b) the package stuck half-way down the parcel drop box 'shoots'. So, why limit the size of your packages?
Got-it Box offers choice where the competition doesn't. You have more options when you don't have to consider whether or not the items you're ordering online will fit in your parcel drop box.
This blog post can't go on without also mentioning the fact that you can have groceries and dry cleaning delivered to your Got-it Box. We've conveniently added a hanging bar because we know that picking up dry cleaning can be a huge pain! So, sign yourself up for dry cleaning delivery and never worry about rushing to the dry cleaners again.
Groceries too! Online grocery ordering is gaining momentum around North America so stop trying to squeeze weekly grocery trips into your schedule when you can conveniently have your groceries delivered to your Got-it Box.
Pains be gone, Got-it Box offers the solution!
Yesterday was a wonderful day! We're happy that we could be involved with the SportChek Pink Cup Charity Classic.
The Pink Cup brings people to the golf course to raise money for breast cancer. As the website states, "The SportChek Pink Cup Charity Classic is dedicated to funding Canadian breast cancer research into the detection, prevention, treatment and to ultimately find a cure for the disease that women fear most."
From the time we arrived, with our vehicles full of Got-it Boxes and pink decorations, we knew we were in for a fun day! We were greeted by organizers who were busy, happy and decked out in pink! We made our way to the sixth hole and started setting up our Got-it Box tent. When we were finished there was a noticeable difference with our display, a lot of pink! Pink streamers, balloons, ribbon, tablecloth and Got-it Box employees wearing pink. It was nice to change things up a bit and especially since we were participating in this inspiring event.
We wanted to incorporate a Got-it Box into the fundraiser yesterday so we came up with a fun idea! There were golf balls with 4-digit numbers on them, some would open the Got-it Box and some wouldn't. Anyone who wanted to play (and we think everyone did!) chose their golf balls and tried the PINs in the lock. We had awesome prizes, quite a few winners and some really nice people stopping by!
We're happy to report that our day at the golf course was a success! We left with an empty Got-it Box, which means that we had lots of winners and a bunch of money was raised for a wonderful cause.
We'd like to thank the organizers for welcoming us to the SportChek Pink Cup Charity Classic and we hope to be back again next year.
Are malls dying? A quick Google search provides many articles that make reference to 'the death of the American shopping mall,' so it would appear that that may be the case.
The author of a recent New Yorker article quickly points out that the increase in people shopping online has been hurting the mall economy. In 2013, internet sales reached six per cent of the total retail spending, which nearly doubles the total from 2007. We've mentioned this in other blog posts and we're not surprised to read it again and again. Online sales are increasing while bricks and mortar retail sales are decreasing.
Many companies have pivoted to accommodate the change in their economy, which means they're downsizing the stores they have in malls or pulling out all together. Some are focusing their efforts online and others are moving into countries that haven't felt the affect of dying malls, yet.
Like companies making the decision to pivot, we believe consumers are doing the same. It's very simple to get what you want by quickly ordering it online. Some people will always go to the mall because it's where they like to socialize, people-watch, meet up with friends, exercise (mall-walking!) and shop, of course. But, if strolling through a mall is not your thing, for whatever reason, then you probably prefer shopping online. And, lucky for you, there are more options than ever to get your favourite items delivered! We'll talk about this more in another blog-post.
The point we're trying to make is this: the retail landscape is changing, and not just figuratively anymore. Online shopping is growing and growing and growing! And if you're shopping more online you're obviously receiving more packages so keep them secure with a Got-it Box. Make your life easy!
For now, check out Buzzfeed to see some pretty amazing photos of dead malls in America.
More articles on this topic, if you're interested:
America's Shopping Malls are Dying A Slow, Ugly Death
In a three-part blog post we've been explaining why we like to say, "Buy.Share.Give." and why we think it captures the essence of Got-it Box. 'Give' is the third entry for this blog series.
Got-it Box is there when you want to contribute to your local community. If you're inclined to donate to charities but find it hard to map out the time...use your Got-it Box!
It's quite common for school-kids to collect used bottles when fundraising for different events. These bottle drives make donating easier. Rather than giving money you can just set your recyclables aside for the kids to collect and they handle it from there. It's common for bottle drives to take place on Saturday mornings. We've heard that this is a busy time for most people with errands, driving kids to extracurricular activities, travelling, and anything else that needs to be done on the weekend. We get it, it can be difficult to plan around a bottle drive or any other fundraisers and charitable drives in your area. Use your Got-it Box!
Contact the organizers of the fundraiser, explain how to use your Got-it Box, give them a PIN number (primary or one-time use) and tell them the items you're donating will be ready for pick-up!
This is a handy way to contribute without being inconvenienced!
So, keep an eye out for bottle, food, and clothing drives along with any other fundraisers in your area! Make an impact in your community and don't worry about your schedule.
Who else can you give to, using your Got-it Box?
Don't limit yourself!
One suggestions is to become a Freecycle member. Join a network of over seven million people who like to give and receive things for free. Seven million!! You can definitely use your Got-it Box for this or anything similar. Check out our recent blog post explaining how Got-it Box goes both ways and start thinking how to add more convenience to your life!
Your Got-it Box can do so much!
Don't forget to keep us in the loop on how you're using your Got-it Box or how you think one can make life easy!
In a three-part blog post we're explaining why we like to say, "Buy.Share.Give." and why we think it captures the essence of Got-it Box.
You can use a Got-it Box to share things!
Share with friends, family, neighbours, coworkers, and really anyone else you can think of.
The idea is that if there's something you want to use but not buy just borrow it. Yah, that's not revolutionary or anything. It's very common these days, in a time when the word green is used more than ever and in a way that makes us want to constantly reduce, reuse and recycle. Many people want to do their part to make things greener. But it's also a much busier world these days. Your schedule may not allow for you to share or borrow as much as you'd like.
So, what if you had a Got-it Box that you could have things dropped off to when you weren't home. And what about using your Got-it Box to return things to people who don't mind swinging by your home to pick up their stuff. This is just another practical way to use a Got-it Box.
Have you heard about StreetBank? It's a network in London for just this type of idea! We're sure we'll be seeing more networks like this in the future.
Anytime you need to make your life more convenient to free up some time, think about whether or not you can incorporate your Got-it Box. Maybe it's something as simple as your neighbour needing to borrow your mixing bowls but you won't be home when he can pick them up. Put them in your Got-it Box, tell him the PIN number and ask him to press FACTO to lock it up again when he's finished. You've done a good dead and he's happy to borrow those mixing bowls. Perfect!
The next blog will feature information about why we say Give with your Got-it Box. Stay tuned!