They way we consume goods has completely changed in the past few decades. I’ve written a couple of blog posts about delivery systems and how our mailing means have grown exponentially. You can order something online with one click, and have it on your door step the next day.
The simplicity of everything has become dangerous quite honestly. I don’t think about ordering things online as much as I do in person. I’ve gotten particularly good at making sure I walk around a store at least once with a potential item to make sure I reaaaaaaally need it. Nine times out of ten, within a half-loop of a store, I put that item back. I mean in grocery stores, the layouts of the aisles are purposefully designed to make you spend more money (it’s actually really interesting if you want to read more). I’ve been able to get better with that too, now that I know. Especially feeding one person; I can’t buy that 24 pack of chicken at Costco because dear goodness, I’d never be able to get through that before it goes bad.
But with online shopping, I find I’m all too eager to get that new thing. I’ve paid for subscription boxes before, because I find if I set aside $10 per month for that sample-filled box, I don’t go out of my way to browse for the full size products that will eat at my funds. Now, I’ve stopped doing the subscriptions, despite how much I’ve loved them (it’s a nice surprise every other month since I tend to forget about their arrival).
So where does that bring me to the Milkman theory? I’ve seen several companies recently edit the subscription phenomena that seems to be plaguing all of us. Myro is a great example. They specialize in natural deodorant: delivered to your door, Milkman style. Your first time order you get a case with refillable contents. Every time you start to run out of your deodorant, order a refill (you can even make it automatic if you know your sweating patterns), and boom, it’s at your door.
We’ve seen subscriptions like this before. I have friends who swear by Dollar Shave Club. They’re whole premise is just like the company’s above. Buy a razor the first time, get sent razor heads whenever you need them.
Now, you may ask, “Sydney, how is this anything like the home milk delivery system that you mentioned previously?” Let me tell you! Back in the god-forsaken olden days (hi mom and dad), there used to be a thing called a Milkman. He’d deliver milk to your front door, packaged up in glass bottles. Once you used the milk, you’d put those glass bottles back on the porch. The good wholesome (no pun intended) Milkman would then pick up those bottles, and start the process all over again. Today, we have fancy packaging and apps that do the hard logistic parts for us, but the fundamentals are the same.
Like a few recent posts, this system revolves around the mission to cut packaging waste as much as possible. Every single item we buy is in one-use packaging. It’s not a revolutionary model by any means, but in a day and age where companies want consumers to buy, buy, buy all the time, it’s nice to know they have values that reflect the new (or would it be old?) way of doing business.