Amazons newest offering is tactfully called Instant Pickup and is intended to bring convenience and speedy delivery to the core of its game plan. The focus on speed and convenience is yet another innovative approach to bring in more customers and build loyalty. The innovation, launched early last week allows shoppers with Prime membership to pick up items ordered on the online platform from self service lockers in particular locations in two minutes or less. Staffers in these locations ensure the ordered items (snacks, electronics and devices such as Fire TV and Echo are the only ones currently available) are availed in the lockers immediately the order is placed. This is targeting customers who would ordinarily frequent convenience stores for daily needs and in particular students.
Instant Pickup is a drive towards convergence of online and offline shopping. Online shopping provides the convenience of anywhere, anytime while the benefits of offline shopping include touch and feel. Merging these two by introducing Instant Pickup Amazon is enticing shoppers to use its platform more and this will likely grow its Prime memberships which have been key revenue drivers. Being able to use a smartphone to order items and pick them up quickly will likely appeal to many shoppers. The offering may also attract more customers who currently shop at brick and mortar stores if the product line-up is increased to include perishables and other immediate needs. By touting the two minutes or less turnaround time the service has been compared to vending machine where snacks are offered for immediate consumption. Bridging the gap between online and offline players, Amazon will have an edge over competitors by removing the waiting time that is familiar to online shoppers.
Instant Pickup will position Amazon to capture more customers and will encourage them to shop more regularly for everyday items on the platform instead of the current situation where it’s known as the go-to destination for durables. Following the acquisition of the upscale grocery chain Whole Foods, the grocery business is likely to be the next major growth driver for Amazon and users of the service will be looking forward to be able to order some groceries alongside snacks and other items. The addition of electronics to the list of items available for Instant Pickup will likely provide a boost in revenues considering that Amazon has remained a popular first port of call for most of these tech products.