Amazon is rolling out "Local Selling," a set of services that allow local and regional retailers to offer both in-store pickup and fast delivery to nearby customers.
With this new option, sellers can offer in-store pickup for products and services to shoppers in specific ZIP codes. In some instances, customers will be able to purchase items from sellers for same-day pickup at the business’s local retail location.
Products that are available for pickup will have a "store pickup" tab on the item page. Once customers place an order, they’ll receive a notification when their item is ready for pickup. When the item is ready, customers will have a five-day pickup window to collect their orders.
Shoppers can also choose local delivery, which will be facilitated by the business itself. Once you select the "arranged delivery" option at checkout, the local retailer will contact you to schedule the exact date and time for the delivery. Some sellers may also offer installation services that you can add on top of your order.
Amazon Local Selling is now available from both national and local retailers, including Mavis Discount Tire, Sears Hometown Store, 4 Wheel Parts, Electronic Express, Best Buy, Appliance Connection, Mattress Warehouse, Beach Camera, Adorama, DataVision, Exclusive Furniture, World Wide Stereo, MODIA, Focus Camera and others. The company says Local Selling will expand later this year and during 2022, as sellers who are interested in joining the program are able to apply to do so starting today.
“Our research shows that many customers will opt for local pickup when given the choice. This new capability is an exciting way to help sellers reach and delight more customers with great products and convenience,” said Jim Adkins, the vice president of recreational and vocational categories at Amazon, in a statement.
It’s worth noting that Amazon previously tested in-store pickup options in 2019 with the launch of "Counter," a service where Amazon shoppers could arrange to collect packages at retail locations. The service essentially saw the company partner with retailers to arrange pickup counters in their stores for orders placed online.
With this latest launch, Amazon is clearly looking to get orders to customers faster by leveraging its third-party network and their physical stores. It’s a way for Amazon to keep customers on its own marketplace as opposed to retailers’ websites. The launch also comes at a time when curbside pickup options have increased since the start of the pandemic. Companies like Walmart and Target have offered the option for quite some time now, as Amazon is gearing up to further compete with big box stores and retailers with its newest offering. It's also worth noting that Shopify offers merchants on its platform in-store pickup options so this could be an attempt to better compete with that as well.