Will a new BOPIS option boost Amazon’s results?
In what some reports defined as the e-commerce giant’s launch of BOPIS, Amazon.com last week formally introduced Counter, which allows its customers to pick up packages at third-party retail locations.
Rite Aid will be Amazon’s first Counter partner in the U.S. The service launched last week at more than a hundred Rite Aid stores and is set to reach over 1,500 by year’s end. Amazon is actively looking to bring additional partners on board, including small to midsize businesses and other large chains.
Initially rolled out quietly in the U.K. and Italy, Counter has “been positively received, driving strong customer engagement and additional foot traffic for partners,” according to Amazon’s statement.
The service is available at no extra cost for all Amazon shipping options, including same-day and next-day delivery.
Amazon, which in April revealed plans to reduce its free Prime shipping guarantee from two days to one, gains more ways to meet delivery promises with the new service.
Amazon Introduces Counter in the U.S. – Where Customers Can Pick Up Their Package and Shop Too – YouTube
The option complements the more than 3,000 Amazon Lockers for self-service pickup and returns that have been installed in convenience stores, local grocers, copy centers, Stein Marts and Whole Foods Markets. Rite Aid has more than 300 Lockers. Lockers are also located at some campuses and apartment complexes. Kohl’s accepts returns in its locations.
Customers gain another delivery option and some protections against package theft.
For retail partners, Counter’s “straightforward pickup flow and user-friendly technology helps ensure store associates can serve customers without disrupting their daily activities.” The benefit is expected to be extra traffic. Said Jocelyn Konrad, EVP, pharmacy and retail operations of Rite Aid, “Being the first store partner for Counter in the U.S. is a differentiator for Rite Aid.”
Amazon said Counter is not connected to its other efforts to get into pharmacy retailing, such as its purchase of startup PillPack last year.
“With Counter, we’ve leveraged our growing logistics network and invested in new, easy to use technology to give customers yet another delivery option rooted in flexibility and control,” Patrick Supanc, worldwide director of Amazon Hub, said in a statement.
- Amazon Introduces Counter in the U.S. – Where Customers Can Pick Up Their Package and Shop Too – Amazon.com
- Amazon launches Counter in-store pick-up in the US, starting with 100 Rite Aid locations – TechCrunch
- Amazon’s Counter package pickup comes to the US via Rite Aid – Engadget
- Amazon launches new in-store pickup option with Rite Aid as first partner – Reuters
- Amazon found an inexpensive route into brick-and-mortar retail, and it could be a crucial weapon as it competes with Walmart – Business Insider
- Everything you need to know about Amazon Locker – Amazon.com
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Does Amazon need a personnel-assisted Counter option at stores in addition to Lockers? Should third-party retailers welcome Counter with open arms?