Amazon is steadily whittling down the amount of time it takes to receive a purchased item after hitting the “Place your order” button. We used to be happy to receive an item in 3 to 5 days using Amazon’s free shipping service; then we got spoiled by “free” two-day service with an Amazon Prime subscription. More recently, Prime Now provides a two-hour delivery window for free to subscribers, or a one-hour window for an added fee.
So, what’s better than one-hour delivery? How about two minutes? That’s exactly what you can expect with Amazon’s new Instant Pickup service, which will be rolling out to select college towns across the country. These will be “fully staffed” locations that will stock “daily essentials” that college kids will likely crave on a daily basis.
“As shopping behaviors continue to evolve, customers consistently tell us that they want items even faster,” said Ripley MacDonald, Amazon’s Director of Student Programs. “Whether it’s a snack on-the-go, replacing a lost phone charger in the middle of a hectic day or adding Alexa to your life with an Echo, Instant Pickup saves Prime members time.”
Although we don’t really see the attraction of needing something like a Fire TV in 2 minutes, we could definitely see the appeal for college students to pick up a replacement USB cable or wall charger in two minutes or less. Unfortunately, there is no word on pricing at this time, so we don’t know if there will be pricing premium on the items or an additional "handling" fee tacked on for the lightning-fast service.
Amazon Instant Pickup will initially be available in Los Angeles; Atlanta; Berkeley, California; Columbus, Ohio; and College Park, Maryland.