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    Why Amazon wants you to pick up your Prime Day orders this year

    Amazon has been adding lockers for order pick-ups.

    LUCY NICHOLSON/Reuters

    Amazon is reminding customers they can pick up Prime Day orders instead of having them delivered.The retailer has thousands of pick-up points, including its lockers, around the US.The option might be convenient if you shop at Whole Foods — and there’s a benefit for Amazon, too.

    Amazon has built its delivery chops for years. In fact, one big selling point of its $139-a-year Prime membership is free one-day shipping to customers’ doors.

    But this year, Prime Day promotions are pointing shoppers toward the option of taking on some of the delivery work themselves by instead collecting packages from its growing network of lockers and other pick-up points.

    Prime members are “able to choose how and where those items arrive— whether at home, work, or places you frequent with Amazon’s network of thousands of package pick-up locations,” Amazon said last month as it touted the massive shopping event, which is scheduled for July 16 and 17.

    Amazon has been adding pick-up points in recent years. Its locker banks, for instance, are common sites in apartment lobbies, college dorms, convenience stores, and even police stations. There are also staffed Amazon Counters at Whole Foods stores.

    An Amazon spokesperson said that Amazon offers “tens of thousands of package pick-up locations” in the U.S. The spokesperson also directed Business Insider to a blog post from last year, which says that items ordered for pick-up at lockers must be fulfilled by Amazon and weigh under 10 pounds, among other requirements.

    And while picking up parcels might seem contrary to Amazon Prime’s noted quick-shipping benefits, it’s could be useful both for the customer and for the company.

    If shoppers already go to Amazon’s stores or other places with an Amazon locker, it’s quite convenient, said Jeremy Bartlow, a partner and consumer expert at PA Consulting.

    “I know it’s going to be sitting there in the locker on the way home or at the grocery store, wherever I’m stopping,” Bartlow told BI.

    It’s especially convenient to get an order delivered to a locker if you’ve had Amazon packages stolen from your porch or apartment mailroom, or if you’re ordering an expensive item and want the extra security.

    There’s another reason why Amazon would love for you to pick up your Prime Day deals instead of delivering them to your front door: their bottom line.

    Amazon’s annual spending on shipping has ballooned over the last few years, particularly as it ramped up its one-day and same-day shipping operations.

    Amazon spent $89.5 billion on shipping in 2023 — an increase of roughly 7% over 2022, the company said in its annual filing with the SEC.

    That’s despite offering options like “Amazon Day Delivery,” where customers can choose to wait a few days if the order isn’t urgent, and Amazon will try to put as many items in the same box as it can. (Amazon sometimes offers credits to customers who choose this option.)

    Delivering orders to a single pick-up point instead of going out on an hours-long route through suburbia saves time — and probably gas — compared with individual delivery.

    The cost of shipping back items that customers want to return is also steep for Amazon and other retailers — so steep, in fact, that Amazon may give you a refund and tell you to keep the product.

    All of that has pushed Amazon to come up with new ways to get you to pick up or drop off stuff instead of relying on the company’s delivery workers or third-party services like the U.S. Postal Service.

    Earlier this year, Amazon offered a discount at Amazon Fresh grocery stores if patrons used one of the supermarkets to return something they bought on Amazon.com, for example. Whole Foods and Fresh Prime customers can also get their groceries selected from the selves and pre-packed for pick-up for free. Amazon’s grocery delivery service for Prime members costs an extra $9.99 a month and requires a $35 minimum order.

    Last year, Amazon offered customers $10 if they picked up purchases at a store, such as Whole Foods, Fresh, or Kohl’s.

    But whether the pick-up strategy will save Amazon money remains to be seen. After all, Amazon itself helped make free, fast shipping (at least, if you’ve paid for Prime first) an expectation for millions of consumers.

    Do you work for Amazon, Whole Foods, or Amazon Fresh and have a story idea? Reach out to this reporter at [email protected]

    Read the original article on Business Insider

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