Retail has changed dramatically over the course of the pandemic with many smaller companies losing their highstreet presence and suddenly having to compete with online giants. Many stores hastily threw together click & collect processes while supermarket delivery slot systems were quickly overwhelmed.
Delivery slots were extremely rare in the early days of lockdown and can still be tricky to find now. Bother offers nationwide delivery and consistent availability so that users are never stuck without a delivery slot again. With no subscription or membership strings attached, Bother presents a very promising alternative to supermarket deliveries or arduous trips to the ‘Big Shops’.
A proud supplier of what they call the ‘boring basics’, Bother doesn’t stock fresh food, only carrying things like laundry detergents, pet food, and packaged foodstuffs with long dates. If it’s stored in a cupboard, Bother stocks it; if it’s something you’d keep in the fridge, Bother encourages you to shop locally for that instead. They encourage users of their service to shop locally for fresh produce and visit local greengrocers and butchers as opposed to relying solely on ‘Big Shops’. Through this model, Bother is revolutionising online ordering and home delivery: as opposed to competing with the high street, their service is supporting it.
According to the ONS, online shopping accounted for 35.2% of retail spending in January this year – the highest percentage on record. This hardly comes as a surprise with so many of us shopping online that Amazon’s profits increased by nearly 200% during the pandemic. With non-esssential retail stores having been in and out of closures all year, business has been handed over to those with robust online ordering systems and timely deliveries. The high street has taken a massive hit during lockdowns and Bother is stepping up as an unlikely supporter for the local shops that have suffered most.
Bother keeps track of your order history, supplying users with a list of their regular orders to make it even easier to top up on those things you’re always running out of.
Like a familiar barista who remembers your usual order, the ‘Bother Brain™ technology learns with each shop’, predicting when you might have run out of something based on what it knows about your household so it’s already in your basket buy the time you sign in.
‘Not only will the ‘dash down the supermarket because you’ve just realised you’ve not got enough rice for dinner’ be a thing of the past. With Bother, your house can feel magically and effortlessly replenished each month, with the touch of a button.’
This is both convenient and environmentally efficient – with a better grasp of what you might be about to run out of it’s less likely you’ll need to make the drive to a supermarket for just one or two items.
Bother won’t send out substitutions without discussing it with the customer first, saving consumers from winding up with items they didn’t want or can’t use – thus reducing costs for Bother, consumers, and the planet. Bother helps every household become more eco-efficient whilst making shopping a more efficient and less bothersome experience.
Bothered about the environment
By not stocking fresh foods, Bother eliminates the need for refrigerated vans in their fleet. Refrigerating delivery vans has high costs for delivery companies and the environment, and bother works to pass down what they save on costs down to the consumer.
They deliver everything in cardboard boxes that can be easily reused or recycled at home. Orders do have a minimum spend of £40 but this is not unreasonable or unexpected – in order to keep their business practices efficient and environmentally sustainable Bother will only ship full boxes that are worth the environmental cost of delivery.
‘We believe it’s up to companies (like us) and not individuals (like you) to provide solutions to the current crisis. We want to make better choices more easily available and ensure your current choices are more environmentally efficient.’
Bother makes making the best choice for the planet easy – sustainability is embedded in their practices so that it takes no more effort for the consumer to make eco-friendly choices. The team behind Bother knows that implementing change on a mass scale needs easy alternatives that are economically viable for consumers and the industry. Bother is aware that ‘travel (not including flights) is the largest carbon footprint in the average UK home [and] that 19% of that is us journeying to and from the shops’. Saving households these journeys has the potential to have a huge impact on the environment.
Cutting out the supermarket middleman shortens the supply chain, saving money for consumers and companies alike whilst also saving the planet. Bother also works with Ecologi to offset their carbon footprint and are listed as a climate positive workforce, going beyond carbon neutrality to actually saving more greenhouse gases than they generate.
Consumer habits were already shifting towards online shopping and this has been accelerated by the pandemic. Bother is disrupting this shift by encouraging its users to simultaneously shop online and on their local highstreet to find the perfect balance that lowers their waste, costs, and carbon footprint.
The Bother team knows that change is brought about by incremental improvements and they are helping people make small sustainable changes in their everyday shopping. Bother is taking massive steps to support local businesses and forge stronger relationships in local communities, all while helping save the planet.
About the Author: Leo Hynett
Leo Hynett is a contributing Features Writer, with a particular interest in Culture, the Arts and LGBTQ+ Politics.
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