Amazon adds “instant pickup” at brick-and-mortar locations

Kramer Phillips By Kramer Phillips | 3 years ago

Amazon is rolling out pickup points where shoppers might be able to go and receive their items within minutes of buying them online. A first few pickup points have just launched around five college campuses, with more sites to follow before the end of the year, the retail giant said Tuesday.

Amazon opened “same-day pickup” facilities at 22 U.S. locations over the last two years. Instant pickup takes this pickup option a step further, according to Amazon, and reduces the time between purchase and pickup from later that day to later that same hour. Instant pickup will even use those same same-day pickup facilities, company spokespersons said.

Instant pickup will be an option for hundreds of items at each location. Not necessarily every item on Amazon’s website–shoppers who search on the Amazon mobile app will be able to view the items that are available for instant pickup and where to go to pick them up.

At each pickup location, Amazon employees working in a back room will load orders into lockers. On the opposite side of the wall, shoppers will receive barcodes on their phones and use these to open the lockers and retrieve their merchandise.

Some of the items may be ones that Amazon shoppers have traditionally have sought out elsewhere. Groceries are one such example.

“I want to buy a can of coke because I’m thirsty,” said Ripley MacDonald, Amazon’s director of student programs. “There’s no chance I’m going to order that on Amazon.com and wait however long it’s going to take for that to ship to me.”