At first, everyone was excited about Amazon shipping books right to the door. Then they got excited about having everything shipped right to the door - shoes, bath tissue and even fresh groceries. That I argue was phase one of Internet shopping.
Now we are coming to phase two. Now, so at least Amazon and grocery chain Royal Ahold (in Boston known as Stop and Shop) believe, we want our goods available for pickup locally. Amazon launched a "pick up at 7-Eleven" program last fall. Royal Ahold is testing a "pick up your groceries" solution in a few cities. The former uses lockers on site in the convenience store which are opened via a code sent via e-mail. The grocery solution is limited, for now, to those who live within a ten mile radius and can assign a one-hour pick up window. For now the grocery solution is free, but it will be fee soon, just a fee lower that home delivery.
From a vendor standpoint these solutions could save money as its cheaper to deliver to a single location vs. multiple home addresses. From a buyer standpoint, the hassle of "being home" for delivery can be annoying and the threat that someone might pick up your new electronic gizmo from the porch is very real.
I'm curious how these "pick up" solutions will work. Amazon is currently exporting the 7-Eleven idea to corner stores in the UK.
- Chicago Tribue (Royal Ahold)
- Wired (Amazon)