Amazon is launching a new service called Instant Pickup, promising to let Prime members retrieve items they’ve ordered online in two minutes or less, starting at five of its staffed pickup locations near U.S. college campuses.
The trick is the limited selection. Items include snacks, drinks, personal care products, electronics accessories and Amazon devices such as the Echo Dot and Fire TV, according to a news release announcing the initiative.
Instant Pickup is rolling out starting today in Los Angeles (UCLA), Atlanta (Georgia Tech), Berkeley, Calif. (UC Berkeley), Columbus, Ohio (Ohio State) and College Park, Md. (University of Maryland). Amazon, which operates 22 college pickup locations across the country, says Instant Pickup will expand “in the coming months.”
It’s the latest experiment by the company in fast fulfillment and physical retail, including the Prime Now delivery program, Amazon Lockers pickup sites, and 15-minute pickup at its two Seattle AmazonFresh Pickup locations for Amazon Prime members who pay an extra $15/month for the Amazon Prime Fresh Add-on service.
Update: Here’s how the Instant Pickup process works, according to Amazon. “Prime members can shop the selection of products available through Instant Pickup and tap “Buy Now”. The purchase triggers an associate to place the item(s) in a locker. Once placed, the customer receives a unique barcode that is scanned, causing a locker to open with the order inside within two minutes or less.” The company explains that “each location with Instant Pickup will have curated inventory on-site at all times, allowing super-fast fulfillment via Instant Pickup.”