Amazon Opens "Instant Pickup" Points in US Brick-and-Mortar Push


Prime members can order items such as snacks, drinks and electronic devices on their mobiles and collect them in two minutes or fewer at Amazon Instant Pickup stations. We used to be happy to receive an item in 3 to 5 days using Amazon's free shipping service; then we got spoiled by "free" two-day service with an Amazon Prime subscription.

It works similarly for the Instant Pickup.

Instant Pickup is just the latest way Amazon had begun to push its online retail business into physical locations. Amazon now operates a total of 22 staffed pickup locations on or near college campuses across the country.

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Instant Pickup is rolling out starting today in Los Angeles (UCLA), Atlanta (Georgia Tech), Berkeley, Calif. (UC Berkeley), Columbus, Ohio (Ohio State) and College Park, Md. Now the lockers are used by customers to pick up regular Amazon Prime packages and drop off returns.

Placing the first Instant Pickup locations near colleges and universities is smart, because when students need things fast, their first stop will likely be the nearest convenience store. Its Instant Pickup program targets another laggard: impulse buys. Whether it's a snack on-the-go, replacing a lost phone charger in the middle of a hectic day or adding Alexa to your life with an Echo, Instant Pickup saves Prime members time. Amazon Lockers have been around for a while, letting customers order packages and send them to a Locker location that's near them (but not their home address) for convenient pickup.

Amazon's new service comes months after Amazon Prime - a program with daily deals, exclusive video content, and fast delivery options - hit more than 80 million members.