Amazon Launches Pickup Option, Counter
Amazon.com launched a new pickup option, Counter, in the U.S. today. Counter is a network of staffed package pickup points that enables customers to collect their Amazon packages from Counter locations at third-party retail outlets, department stores, and local neighborhood stores. Counter went live today in more than a hundred Rite Aid stores across the U.S. By the end of the year, the service will be available in 1,500 Rite Aid locations. Amazon is actively looking to bring additional partners on board, including small to midsize businesses and other large chains. The free service is available for the tens of millions of items sold on Amazon, and works with same-day, one-day, two-day and standard shipping.
Counter originally launched in the U.K. with NEXT and in Italy with Giunti Al Punto Librerie, Fermopoint and SisalPay stores. The service has been positively received, driving strong customer engagement and additional foot traffic for partners, Amazon said. After shopping on Amazon.com, customers proceed to checkout and select one of the Counter pickup points available in their ZIP code as their delivery location. As soon as their package arrives in-store, customers receive an email notification with a unique barcode. At the store, customers provide the barcode to store staff, who will scan it and retrieve the package.
Total Retail's Take: For store partners, Counter’s straightforward pickup flow and user-friendly technology helps ensure store associates can serve customers without disrupting their daily activities. Rite Aid was a willing initial partner for the Counter program. The program figures to drive additional foot traffic into its drug stores — traffic that could be driven to make purchases once in-store.
“Creating a seamless, convenient customer experience is a key element of our strategy and digital transformation,” said Jocelyn Konrad, executive vice president, pharmacy and retail operations, Rite Aid. “Being the first store partner for Counter in the U.S. is a differentiator for Rite Aid. We believe our partnership with Amazon, that includes Locker, creates a stronger in-store experience for existing customers and new customers that come in to pick up their packages.”