Amazon in the US has announced the expansion of Counter, a network of staffed pickup points that give customers the option to pick up their Amazon packages at third-party locations. The first retailer to partner with Amazon on this initiative was Rite Aid, offering the service in 100 stores, with a further rollout planned by the end of the year. Now, Amazon is adding pickup points at new partner retailers, including GNC, Health Mart and Stage Stores, with items available for same-day delivery at no extra cost to shoppers.
Amazon has often sought to differentiate and innovate in logistics, bringing capabilities in-house and offering free one-day delivery to Prime members, being already capable of offering same-day and next-day delivery to 72% of the US population. At the same time, buy-online-pickup-instore (BOPIS) has gained significant adoption, with 68% of US consumers having used the service and the most popular reason being savings on shipping costs.
With the shortening of delivery times and the expansion of available pickup points, Amazon raises consumer expectations and ultimately the cost to compete in ecommerce. Partner retailers should instigate impulse opportunities of branded products alongside pickup Counters to monetize this opportunity and generate regular shopper traffic.