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Amazon has launched a new service offering customers a network of stores where they can collect their online orders from designated pick up points.

Amazon Counter

Looking to make the most of the increasing popularity of click and collect services, Amazon, through its new service called “Amazon Counter”, will allow its customers to choose a pick-up point when they get to the check-out stage on the Amazon website.

Available in the UK and Italy, Amazon Counter offers quick and easy collection of online orders from a number of retail outlets and convenience stores. In the UK, Amazon has partnered with clothing chain Next. Launch partners in Italy include bookstore chain Giunti along with the network of Fermopoint and SisalPay stores. The retailer plans further roll out in the future, with more locations and partners across Europe. The service comes at no extra cost to Prime members and is available on millions of items sold on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.it, offering One-Day and Standard Shipping.

Patrick Supanc, director of Lockers and Pickup at Amazon, commented: "With Counter, we've used technology to enhance and redesign the click and collect experience. We're excited for customers to experience this service at one of the thousands of stores now available for Counter, but we're not stopping there. We're now actively looking to bring even more partners onboard across Europe — from family-run corner shops to retail chains — businesses of all sizes can take advantage of the opportunity as we expand the Counter network for customers”.

Focus on creating convenient solutions

Amazon Counter is the latest of Amazon’s convenient delivery solutions, offering a safe space for parcel delivery. The new service capitalizes on Amazon’s existing pick up and locker options. In the UK, there are 2500 automated lockers located at the premises of various partners such as Morrisons, Co-op, or Shell petrol stations. These initiatives display Amazon's focus on improving delivery efficiency and cutting redelivery costs. It also shows how Amazon is putting customer convenience at the forefront.

In April Amazon also revealed plans to expand its Amazon Returns service to the entire Kohl’s estate of more than 1,150 stores in the US. With the Amazon Returns service, customers can return Amazon-purchased products, without a box or label, to any Kohl’s store free of charge.

 

For more information on Amazon, Retail Analysis subscribers can read and download our Strategic outlook for Amazon report here.

Amazon has opened its first physical Amazon Go store in New York that will accept purchases from customers paying with cash.

Accepting cash payments

The new bricks-and-mortar Amazon Go store is the first to open in New York and is located at Brookfield Place, a shopping centre surrounded by offices. The store is the retailer’s twelfth Amazon Go site and is around 1,300 sq ft.

Due to the store’s location, the offer is aimed at shoppers in a hurry, catering for the lunch mission with a focus on food-to-go options. The store also features Amazon Meal Kits.

Whilst the store is check-out free like other Amazon Go stores, the New York store accepts cash payments. Whilst there will not be cash registers in the store, customers will be able to pay with cash with the help of a store employee using a mobile device for checkout and payment. Previously opened Amazon Go stores are only available for customers to enter with an app linking to a credit card or Amazon account.

Customer obsession

Amazon’s customer focus and culture of innovation has led the business to rapid growth. The New York store demonstrates Amazon’s value of customer obsession. The store focuses on inclusion by catering to customers without a credit card or bank account.

 

For more information on Amazon, Retail Analysis subscribers can read and download our Strategic outlook for Amazon report here.

Amazon has expanded its in-car delivery service to include select Ford and Lincoln vehicles, following the launch of the service last year.

Roll out of Amazon Key In-Car

Amazon’s Key In-Car service gives Amazon couriers access to shoppers' cars to leave packages inside. The in-car delivery service works via the Amazon Key App. Shoppers have to add their car details to the app so that Amazon couriers can locate it via GPS. The app notifies customers regularly regarding location of their item, and when it has been delivered. Shoppers can also track when their car was unlocked and relocked, and rate their experience of the service.

Previously the service was only available to shoppers with a Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac or Volvo car no older than 2015. Amazon has now expanded the service to include 2017 and later model Ford and Lincoln vehicles.

The delivery service is now available in 50 US cities and is only valid on items that do not require a signature. Furthermore, items weighing over 50 pounds and exceeding 26 x 21 x 16 inches are not eligible for in-car delivery.

In-car delivery is available for Prime members at no extra cost, and items ordered are eligible for same day, two-day and standard shipping.

Putting convenience at the forefront

Due to shopper demand and rising expectations for convenience, we are increasingly seeing retailers investing to improve their delivery offer.

In-car delivery is yet another example of Amazon improving its delivery efficiency. Another way Amazon is offering convenient fulfilment is through one-hour delivery via its Prime Now service. Last year, the retailer also launched its Hub apartment delivery lockers, similar to Amazon Lockers that are present at a number of retail sites, except these lockers are located in apartment buildings. Amazon Garage and Amazon Key allow customers to have packages delivered inside their home or garage via the Amazon Key app.

 

For more information on Amazon, Retail Analysis subscribers can read or download our Strategic outlook for Amazon report here.  

Presentations

14/05/2019
Amazon has a new network of staffed pick up points that allows customers to collect their Amazon parcels in-store at a partner location.
13/05/2019
Last year, Amazon opened its first Amazon Go store to the public in Seattle. One year on and the network has grown to 12 locations. We recently visited one of its new stores in San Francisco to see how the format is developing and to consider what's next.
03/05/2019
An essential summary of trading priorities, latest developments and other key commercial insights for Amazon
View all presentations

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