I was having a beer with my neighbor this past Sunday and noticed a USPS delivery truck go by. I realized deliveries were now being made on Sundays, but to see a USPS truck and learn that this is because Amazon negotiated Sunday delivery with the USPS was even more surprising. I also wondered why getting stuff in a day or two is such an important value proposition these days.

The Internet has changed the way we live, shop, consume, and, now, value time. I’m not sure I really need that slicer and dicer by tomorrow, but people are willing to pay to have it now! Shipping has always been a money maker for direct marketers, but in the old days, it was just a way to make more profit. Now it’s grown beyond that. Time has become our most precious commodity and an integral part of the value proposition for retailers.

While time has always been valuable―”time is money” is the old saying―its priority in getting more “stuff” is more recent. In a sense, the companies that deliver faster control time. The arrival date does play a more important factor even when the item being ordered is something as mundane as soap.

I blame Amazon. It’s been great for them as on time, in time, and before expected have become major selling points for squeezing more dollars out of you. Amazon Prime’s real savings is that you get free delivery (most of the time). Sure, you get free Prime Movies, but most of those you can get on Netflix, too. Amazon bought up shipping consolidators, created local warehouses, and changed the impact of “time” on our psyche.

I can get it now without having to travel to the local hardware store a mile away. Amazon has saved me time.

I guess I’ll go watch some TV now as I have some time saved up.