Amazon Launches a New Pick-Up Service
- by Maggie Mead
SEATTLE, WA - Amazon has seemingly been leading the pack in the grocery delivery race, but has recently announced a new direction with the U.S. launch of a new service called Counter. The new service will maintain a network of staffed pickup points where Amazon customers can pick up their packages in a partner brick-and-mortar location. Amazon is kicking off the service with more than a hundred Counter locations in Rite Aids across the country, and plans on adding thousands more.
“Amazon is always looking for innovative and convenient ways for customers to ship and receive their orders,” said Patrick Supanc, Worldwide Director of Amazon Hub. “With Counter, we’ve leveraged our growing logistics network and invested in new, easy to use technology to give customers yet another delivery option rooted in flexibility and control. We are excited to partner with national businesses like Rite Aid, and local businesses in the future, to create an outstanding experience for our shared customers.”
Counter was originally launched in the U.K and was well received and drove strong customer engagement and additional foot traffic for partners. Because of the positive results, Amazon has launched the service in the U.S. in more than a hundred Rite Aid stores across the country, with 1,500 locations planned by the end of the year.
Though Counter is part of the Amazon Hub family, it is different from the retailer’s other services, Locker, Locker+, and Apartment Locker. Using Counter is simple; customers purchase items on Amazon.com just as they normally would, but will select one of the Counter pickup points based on their zip code, according to a press release. Once the package arrives at the store, customers receive an e-notification with a unique barcode to prompt them to go to the pickup location, have staff scan the barcode, and retrieve the package. Delivery to Counter locations works with Same-Day, One-Day, Two-Day, and Standard Shipping.
“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 of Rite Aid. “Being the first store partner for Counter in the U.S. is a differentiator for Rite Aid and 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.”
Is this test service something other grocery retailers will soon mimic? Could the market be shifting from delivery to pickup? AndNowUKnow will continue to report.