Click a button; get a package. Place an order; receive a box. Two-day shipping. Immediate pickup. Same-day delivery. Waiting seems out of fashion. Customers’ ever-growing need for retail speed has companies scrambling.
Whether it’s dining chairs, sneakers, birthday gifts, or fresh groceries, shoppers want more products delivered faster. How does all this expecting and demanding line up with the peace, patience, and self-control of Galatians 5:22-23? Is a constant seeking of “more” and “faster” a trait of the Holy Spirit-filled life? God says His children can depend on Him to “supply every need.” (Philippians 4:19) The Bible often encourages Christians to wait expectantly, not to rush—for hope, for deliverance, for the Lord, even for rain.
Online shopping giant Amazon may be partly responsible for raising shoppers’ expectations for near-instant gratification. Customers willing to pay extra can get almost any item delivered in just two days. That’s very different from the time when folks waited weeks or months for a Pony Express rider to gallop into town.
For some eager buyers, 48 hours seems too long to await a package. So companies allow antsy online shoppers to drive to a store, park in a reserved spot, and have their orders brought out to them.
The latest scheme has store employees or ride-hailing services (like Lyft or Uber) delivering products straight to customers’ homes. Both Walmart and Target offer this same-day service so customers don’t even need to leave the house.
Walmart is going a step further. The company is testing smart-lock technology. A digital deadbolt allows a delivery person to enter a shopper’s home and restock the refrigerator. Some Amazon Prime members can have packages dropped right inside their houses or cars. (See “Amazon In-Home Delivery” online at https://teen.wng.org/node/3280.)
But robots aren’t taking over home deliveries . . . yet. However, some retailers and restaurants are testing driverless cars for deliveries, among them Domino’s Pizza and Pizza Hut.
Grocery chain Kroger plans to launch a self-driving delivery service by the end of the year. Customers will order groceries from a mobile app. A driverless vehicle will deliver groceries to the curb. The customer will fetch the items using a numeric code to open the vehicle.
Kroger’s driverless cars could allow supermarkets to reduce delivery fees and reassign car drivers to other jobs. Perhaps those reshuffled workers will slow down long enough to woo customers back into their stores.