The trick is the limited selection.
Amazon is debuting its "Instant Pickup" service on college campuses. The latest was Amazon's announcement yesterday it's launching Instant Pickup for Prime and Prime Student members, initially at five locations in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Berkeley, CA, Columbus, OH and College Park, MD.
Although any Prime members in participating areas will be able to order from Instant Pickup, the new program seems to be focused primarily on college students.
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Instant Pickup puts the retail giant in direct competition with vending machine services. Members can then go to that locker, open it with a personalized bar code, and retrieve their items within minutes of placing the order.
As it is, Amazon has 22 more basic order-pickup locations on US college campuses, as well as pickup lockers available at over 1,800 locations in North America and Europe. Additionally, these lockers can serve as places where customers can ship their non-essential orders for pickups. "You can be sure that this service is Amazon flexing it's analytical muscles", Fosina said. Instant Pickup is now the fastest service for getting Amazon items, beating out Prime Now, which typically takes a few hours, and AmazonFresh Pickup, which you'll have to wait an unbearable 15 minutes for.
The Amazon mobile app can be used by consumers to order from several hundred fast-selling items, including snacks, drinks and phone chargers. With the acquisition of Whole Foods, we can only hope Amazon will offer more healthy options at their locations.
It also appears that Amazon is trying to tap the impulse buyer group with this move, a market that has largely been served by brick-and-mortar stores. Amazon is planning to add more sites before 2017 ends so expect further announcements soon.