One of the greatest challenges of producing the bags in the small batches is the energy costs. Because these are primarily for consumer distribution, one of the great steps in reducing this risk is developing a solar powered smartphone application that can monitor product availability. Instead of having to check each individual canvas bag’s expiration date and charge it, one can just log on to the mobile app or website and check the supply’s current availability.
Retailers can see this information at any time at a cost that’s equal to or cheaper than the energy costs of posting on social media sites. The potential savings of almost $10 million by reducing product loss through expiration dates alone is incredible.
Impact on the Market
If the convenience of this change can’t be ignored, this is a way for both retailers and consumers to benefit. Consumers get more product availability, and retailers save significant energy costs by reducing shipping costs and providing these customers with a convenient shopping experience.
Of course, other changes would also be needed for both types of retailers to be fully on board. For example, instead of handing customers an item with an expiration date and then expecting them to call back the next day or longer to find out when it’s going to expire, the retailer would have to review each item to see how many times they have received that item in the past. By doing this, a retailer could simply have the average customer check for expiration dates and then bill customers for the costs.
Beyond Changing the Market
No one can argue that saving energy is a good thing, and with the potential for an estimated $200 million in potential savings, the impact could be incredible.
“When consumers see how cost effective this is, it can be very difficult for them to resist the temptation to keep the items,” says Larry Lee.
This is a huge market that has not seen this kind of change in consumer behaviour for years, and the availability of canvas bags to consumers has brought it to a tipping point.
Now, it’s up to retailers and consumers to take the next step and take the steps necessary to revolutionize this market, saving businesses and consumers a huge amount of time and money.
“Retailers are struggling. Customers are eager. Why can’t we work together to save our businesses and help make consumers happier?”
By creating a convenient online shopping experience, we could be putting this change into effect today. The ultimate success of this change depends on consumers embracing the change, and that’s only possible if we show them that we’re on their side.
Millions of bags of plastic waste make their way into our oceans every day. We just have to make a conscious effort and use a canvas bag over our plastic one. Well, just like the canvas shoebox you can fill with your gardening gear, the canvas bags can carry just about anything. It’s a way for you to help the environment and that’s a win-win.