Amazon launches ‘Instant Pickup’ furthering its brick-and-mortar approach

E-commerce giant Amazon has launched ‘Instant Pickup’ in the US – a free service where goods purchased online can be picked up by consumers from select locations within two minutes or less, instead of waiting hours for an item to be delivered, in the company’s latest move into brick-and-mortar retail.

“As shopping behaviors continue to evolve, customers consistently tell us that they want items even faster,” said Ripley MacDonald, Director, Student Programs, Amazon. “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. While Instant Pickup is available at select pickup locations today, we’re excited about bringing this experience to more customers soon.”

Items can be picked up at five of Amazon’s fully staffed pickup locations in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Berkeley, Calif., Columbus, Ohio, and College Park, Md. Items available with Instant Pickup include snacks, drinks and electronics, as well as some of Amazon’s most popular devices.

The Amazon App lists hundreds of “need-it-now” items like food, cold drinks, personal care items, technology essentials and Amazon devices like the Echo, Echo Dot, Fire TV and a selection of Fire tablets and Kindle e-readers. Users can browse the selection, place an order, even add last-minute items to an online order and pick it up from a self-service locker – all within two minutes or less.

Amazon said it would purchase Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion in June, and has come to realize that certain transactions such as buying fresh produce are difficult to shift to online buyers. The company is betting on shifting shopping habits and catering to impulse buying.

Regular brick-and-mortar retailers struggle to keep up with e-commerce giants like Amazon, who offer more convenient options for shopping, even more so now with its Instant Pickup service. Before the launch of the new service, the fastest shoppers could expect to have an item delivered was one hour via the company’s Prime Now program, or within 15 minutes for grocery orders via AmazonFreshPickup.

Instant Pickup is available at five select pickup locations in the US and will be available at more locations in the coming months, Amazon said. The company operates a total of 22 staffed pickup locations on or near college campuses across the country.