Amazon started as online book store and has grown to be the worlds largest online retailer.
Amazon Counter – Click & Collect at Next
Amazon have announced this morning a new Click & Collect service called Amazon Counter that gives consumers the ability to pick up their Amazon purchases at their nearest Next store.
At launch, customers will have access to thousands of Counter locations in the UK and Italy, with more locations and partners coming on board across Europe in the future. Starting today, delivery to an Amazon Counter location is available on the tens of millions of items sold on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.it and works with One-Day and Standard Shipping. The service is available at no extra cost to Prime members.
Counter is part of the Amazon Hub family, which includes Lockers. Amazon designed and built the technology for Counter from the ground-up, resulting in a quicker and simpler experience for customers. For store partners, Counter enables store staff to serve customers without disrupting their daily activities, driving meaningful engagement between stores and their customers.
After shopping on Amazon, customers proceed to checkout and select a Counter pick up point as their delivery location. As soon as their package arrives at the store, the customer receives an e-mail notification with a unique barcode as well as the address and opening hours of their selected store, and will have 14 days to collect their parcel. At the store, customers show the barcode to the partner store staff, who will scan it, retrieve the package, and hand it to the customer.
Naturally all merchants who have their products stored in FBA or are Seller Fulfilled Prime qualified will have their goods made available for Amazon Counter.
“With Counter, we’ve used technology to enhance and redesign the click and collect experience. We’re excited for customers to experience this service at one of the thousands of stores now available for Counter, but we’re not stopping there. We’re now actively looking to bring even more partners onboard across Europe — from family-run corner shops to retail chains — businesses of all sizes can take advantage of the opportunity as we expand the Counter network for customers.”
– Patrick Supanc, Director of Lockers and Pickup, Amazon
Next have around 700 stores in the UK and there is one on most major high streets in the UK as well as on many retail parks in out of town locations. One of the big advantages for consumers who work in town is easy collections at lunch times or after work. The big attraction for Amazon is that it will increase their percentage of 1st time delivery success and provide an alternative for those customers who don’t want parcels left with neighbours or who don’t have a suitable safe place for them to be left.
“The ability to collect Amazon parcels from hundreds of NEXT’s UK stores provides a helpful and exciting new service for UK consumers. Amazon Counter combines the internet’s power to offer unprecedented choice with all the convenience of local stores. In a tough retail environment our aim is that Amazon Counter will contribute to the continued relevance and vibrancy of our stores.”
– Lord Wolfson, CEO, Next PLC
In Italy, Amazon Counter goes live today with thousands of stores in Italy with partners Giunti, Fermopoint and SisalPay.
Good call, overall have had good experience using eBay Click & Collect, customers are able to collect items in their own time.
“As soon as their package arrives at the store, the customer receives an e-mail notification”.
That is assuming they have not opted out of all emails including important delivery ones like they are allowed to do.
had another customer complaining yesterday that we had not responded to them despite our reply being sent with an hour and clearly showing in the message system.
Interesting that they’re allowing 14 days for pickup vs ebay 7 days. That could reduce the amount of uncollected returns, the only real downside to click and collect schemes.
Cheaper deliveries for Amazon too – has to cost less to deliver a few dozen parcels a day to a Next store compared to the time and cost to delivery to a few dozen house spread across the local town.
@Gav How long do people need to collect an item? I think if they have not collected it in 7 days most will probably will not bother.
Market places keep telling us customers want things as quick as they can get them, surely the idea of Prime is free next day delivery.
@Chris Not sure it will cost them less, depending on how they pay the drivers, as they will still have to run around town delivering to the people that want a home delivery
It’s a small fraction of a fraction, but it happens often enough that I’ve noticed the following scenario playing out:
Customer gets notified item has arrived and they have 7 days to collect.
Customer leaves it till day 7.
Something happens and they don’t make it! Bad weather, illness, forgetfulness…
They call in the next day with fingers crossed, but it is already on it’s way back.
They send a message apologising and asking if they can re-order.
I mumble and grumble, but let them
I imagine there would still be some numpties leaving it til day 14 with Amazon, but it seems more realistic than 7. If Amazon are doing as ebay do and paying the return shipping on uncollected items, they’ll want to keep those costs to a minimum. Maybe they’ve already trialled the best timescale.
@Gav – sure, so just tell the customer it is 5 days and allow the return in 7 days.
How easy life can be!
Once the item is shipped on Ebay click and collect, messaging buyers and returns is all done automatically by ebay. Sellers have no more involvement unless the item isn’t collected and the first they will know of that is when ebay tell them it’s already on it’s way back. I wouldn’t want to start sending extra messages to buyers reminding them what ebay had already told them, or contradicting the date they have to pick it up by. That doesn’t sound sorted or easy to me.
If Amazon operate a 14 days collection period rather than 7 like ebay, this should weed out some of the incompetent buyers who fail to pick up their parcels.
Anything that reduces sellers costs has to be good.
@Gav And for those that do not pick up in 14 days we can extend it to 30 days.
Personally I would rather send the buyer another message than have the item returned but there is no real way of knowing without checking orders manually.
Maybe what needs to be done is for eBay to be sending the buyers a reminder.
I would not see a 30 days collection period further reducing any uncollected items. If they can’t make it to a local store at any point over 2 consecutive weekends, they’re a lost cause.
Messaging buyers means manually checking orders, which means time/labour costs, so probably not worth it.
Reminders would be good under either system, but having never bought anything under a click and scheme, I’ve no idea if they’re in place or not.
@Gav I totally agree with you, I see no need for a 30 day collection, but I also see no reason for a 14 day collection time-frame.
I would not take the trouble to manually check orders and message people but I have probably only ever had two items returned not collected.
I have purchased an item using Click & Collect, but as I collected promptly I do not know if there are reminders in place.