Amazon.com has introduced Instant Pickup, a free service offering Prime and Prime Student members a curated selection of daily essentials available for pickup in two minutes or less at five of Amazon’s fully staffed pickup locations in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Berkeley, Calif., Columbus, Ohio, and College Park, Md. Items available via Instant Pickup include snacks, drinks and electronics, as well as some of Amazon’s most popular devices. Prime members use the Amazon app to shop, place an order, add last-minute items to an already placed online order and pick it up from a self-service locker — all within two minutes or less. Instant Pickup will be available in more locations in the coming months.
Total Retail’s Take: Amazon is continuously raising the bar to exceed consumers’ expectations when it comes to instant gratification. Instant Pickup could be step one in Amazon’s plan to move into the convenience store space.
“This new combination places convenience stores squarely in the cross-hairs, although Amazon has a lot of ground to make up before it has the store distribution,” said Luke Starbuck, vice president of marketing at Linc Global, on Amazon's future in the convenience store space.
Instant Pickup saves shoppers the time of scanning the shelves for products and waiting in line to pay.
“Although the rollout is limited to a handful of cities, retailers should take note that it won’t be long before consumers start bringing those expectations with them anywhere they shop,” said Tushar Patel, chief marketing officer of Kibo. “Retailers or brand manufacturers that haven’t made investments in any omnichannel strategy will be behind.”