Amazon Instant Pickup

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

16 August 2017

Is Amazon Instant Pickup just an automat?

Amazon is doubling down on its push into traditional brick and mortar with its new Amazon Instant Pickup service for Prime and Student Prime members. The service is currently only available on five college campuses. But, if successful, that number will quickly blossom.

The service allows you to shop for a few hundred items like drinks, snacks and phone chargers and have them instantly (two minutes) delivered to a pickup kiosk at staffed Amazon Instant Pickup locations.

“From a consumer’s perspective, why would anybody use the service unless you walk by the kiosk on your way to somewhere else?”

Amazon Instant PickupAmazon Instant Pickup comes on the heels of Amazon buying Whole Foods and continuing the trend of Amazon solidifying its foray into brick and mortar.

Should convenience stores and vending machines be worried?

Amazon Instant Pickup is a limited venture

I think the short answer is no, at least not yet. Unlike many other expansions or extensions Amazon has done, Amazon Instant Pickup is not immediately scalable. It only works where there’s a staffed Amazon pickup location. Right now, Amazon only lists 22 of them across the country. Further, those must locate in heavily trafficked areas, starting with college campuses.

While this seems like a novel concept, I think that it is a bit of a stretch for Amazon. From a consumer’s perspective, why would anybody use the service unless you walk by the kiosk on your way to somewhere else? How much out of the way would someone go to have a soda placed in a locker when I can go to the vending machine in the building I am heading to?

The brand development of Amazon means delivery and getting it fast. Amazon Instant Pickup is really neither unless it’s next door. The Whole Foods acquisition works because it gives Amazon the infrastructure to deliver groceries.

On the surface, this looks like a novel new approach to convenience stores. But I think it feels more like an automat, and we know how most of those turned out.

See more posts in the following related categories: Amazon Grocery Retail Whole Foods


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