Amazon’s new Instant Pickup aims to deliver items within minutes
Currently testing the concept on two California college campuses first with three more coming soon in Georgia, Maryland, and Ohio, Amazon is aggressively attacking the brick-and-mortar retail market by providing “daily essential” items at select locations.
Instant Pickup items stocked at these locations include food & drink, similar to what you would find in a vending machine, as well as personal care items, phone chargers and Amazon Echo devices. It’s possible Amazon will use these lockers to sell Kindle and Fire TV devices as well.
Conceptually, it’s very similar to products found in vending machines within major airports, besides the Echo devices. When a customer places an order, an Amazon employee goes into the stockroom, places the order inside a locker and a barcode to open said locker is emailed to the customer. That process can be as quick as a couple minutes, making it a pushing into the impulse buy market.
It’s also possible that Instant Pickup prices may be less expensive than what’s found on Amazon. Pricing would be determined on how much it cost to get the item to the stockroom rather than to a customer’s home.
Regarding the college locations, this type of partnership could continue to strangle big-box retailers like Walmart and electronics stores like Best Buy. Why drive all the way to a store when Instant Pickup products are a few minutes away on campus?
Amazon hasn’t indicated if this concept will be expanded beyond college campuses, but the potential for this type of installation in recent acquisitions like Whole Foods is a distinct possibility. While it doesn’t appear to be tied into Amazon Prime, these locations could position Amazon in recruiting more college students into becoming new Prime customers. You can find more information about Instant Pickup here as well as updates on future location expansions.