Amazon.com, the e-commerce company, is launching US pickup points where customers can get items instantly after placing an order for them, reducing delivery times to minutes from hours in its most recent step into brick-and-mortar retail. The biggest online retailer of the world has rolled out “Instant Pickup” points near to 5 college campuses, including the University of California at Berkeley. Amazon also has plans to include the program to more sites by this year end.
Shoppers on the mobile app of Amazon can choose from a variety of fast-selling products at all location, including beverages, snacks, phone chargers, personal care items, and other tech requisites. It also features devices of Amazon such as the Echo and a range of Kindle readers and Fire tablets. Orders are loaded by the Amazon employees in the back room within 2 Minutes and consumers obtain bar codes to have them.
The e-commerce giant—that mentioned in June it would procure the Whole Foods Market Inc. for around $13.7 Billion—has realized that few transactions such as purchasing fresh produce are difficult to move online. The Instant Pickup program of the company aims another straggler: impulse buys. The Director of Student Programs in Amazon, Ripley MacDonald, said, “I wish to purchase a coke can as I’m thirsty. There is no scope I’m going to place an order on Amazon and wait for as long as it is going to need for shipping it to me.” Further, he added pointing the new program, “However, I can offer that sort of service here.”
The potential of Amazon to reduce delivery times has been a stinging step for brick-and-mortar merchants, who have made great efforts to increase sales as users have switched to handy online alternatives. Until Instant Pickup, the shoppers could anticipate their orders at best in an hour through the Prime Now program of the company, or for grocery orders within 15 Minutes through AmazonFresh Pickup.
“This is a natural expansion of their larger drive into the grocery space,” said R.J. Hottovy, Morningstar analyst, indicating Instant Pickup can capture small buys by users in between their bigger shopping trips. The new program also puts Amazon in rivalry with retailing machine services. However, it is not likely to intimidate those selling snack machines to schools and offices.
Ananda Chakravarty, Forrester analyst, said, “This may function for few electronic gadgets that are not normally accessible at vending machines. 2 Minutes seem to be too long to wait for a can of soda.” Amazon, since 2015, has established 22 US areas for same-day pickup. The new program will depend on these same facilities, establishing in Ohio, Los Angeles, Berkeley, Columbus, Atlanta, and College Park (Maryland).