Amazon’s New ‘Instant Pickup’ Service Should Just Be Called ‘Going To The Store’

Here’s the newest concept from Amazon: A place where customers can quickly pick up a snack or a roll of toilet paper without having to wait in long lines. It’s called “Instant Pickup,” but you might already know it by a more familiar name: “Going to the store.”

Instant Pickup allows Prime and Prime Students members to choose from a curated daily assortment of “essentials” — from the bag of chips and the cold drinks you need to survive a hangover to a new phone charger to replace the one you lost last night — that can then be picked up from self-service lockers.

To use the service, customers shopping on the Amazon app can tap the menu button at the top of the app, then look for Instant Pickup in “Programs and Features.”

Customers then select their items, place the order — or add last-minute items to an online order if they need to — and then pick them up from a designated pickup location. Orders will be ready in as little as five minutes, Amazon says.

There are only five locations offering the service thus far — Los Angeles, Atlanta, Berkeley, CA, Columbus, and College Park, MD — but more locations will be added in the coming months, the company notes.

It’s no secret that Amazon has its eye on the younger set: The company knows that if it wants to get newly minted adults hooked on its service for life, offering them everything they need, when they need it, could be a good way to hook ’em.

To that end, Prime Student only costs half of what the grownup version costs. Amazon currently offers 22 pickup lockers on colleges campuses across the country for members of the service.

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