Amazon promises college students two-minute orders

LOS ANGELES — Amazon came up with a way to beat overnight or even same-day delivery.

How about this? Get your order in two minutes.

Amazon on Tuesday said it now offers convenience store-like impulse items available for order online but pickup at select locations. 

Instant Pickup launched today at University of California campuses in Los Angeles and Berkeley, Calif. and will be coming soon to Atlanta, Columbus, Ohio, and College Park, Md. Items like snacks, drinks and electronics will be available some 2 minutes after they have been ordered. 

Amazon also offers instant pickup on some of its electronic devices, like the Echo-connected speaker. 

The program is aimed at students and the Amazon lockers are located on campuses. To qualify, you need to be a subscriber to Amazon's yearly Prime service ($99 or $49 for college students) and you need to update your Amazon smartphone app. 

To use the service, you use the Amazon smartphone app to shop for items like food, cold drinks, personal care items, smartphone chargers and Amazon devices like the Echo, Fire TV and Kindle e-readers. The items are then delivered to lockers at the select locations. Additionally, these lockers can serve as places where customers can ship their non-essential orders for pickups. 

 “As shopping behaviors continue to evolve, customers consistently tell us that they want items even faster," says Ripley MacDonald, Amazon's director of student programs.  

The move is the latest update to the Amazon smartphone app, which recently added the Alexa voice-activated assistant to the iPhone and Android phones. 

Amazon has been testing new retail strategies this year, opening physical bookstores, and trying a concept supermarket in Seattle that lets patrons pay for goods with their smartphone, thus eliminating the need for checkout stands. 

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


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