One of Amazon’s biggest challenges has been how to find its way into brick-and-mortar retail without the massive expense involved in setting up its own stores. In May, the company announced it would be launching a new pick-up service called “Counter.”
What is Counter?
Counter is Amazon's new BOPIS (buy online, pick-up in store) strategy. It allows customers to collect millions of products sold on Amazon at 1,500 different Rite Aid locations, with Amazon planning to expand the program into other local businesses as well. Using Counter, customers can select any pick-up point within their zip code as a delivery location. They then receive email notifications with unique barcodes to pick up their packages.
This new BOPIS service could allow Amazon to access thousands of stores across the United States in the future. This would make it easier to guarantee one-day delivery by ensuring it’s able to access locations even closer to rural customers.
Counter represents an excellent opportunity for sellers, who will be able to get their products in customers’ hands even faster than ever before (and reach more rural customers quicker).
Making delivery easier (AKA cheaper)
Counter is part of Amazon’s efforts to meet the growing demand for fast and flexible deliveries. Counter is just another part of Amazon Hub, Amazon's multi-pronged delivery approach that includes in-car, in-home, and in-garage delivery services. (One of these Hub services is Amazon Locker, where customer packages are delivered to secure lockers for pickup.)
And, while Amazon has historically relied on USPS, UPS, FedEx, and other partners for package delivery, it’s now heavily investing in its own infrastructure. This includes trailer trucks, cargo jets, and even fully electric drones.
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