Amazon.com's new service launched Tuesday will have customers' orders available for instant pickup in two minutes. Fred Katayama reports.
Now some students can order a can of Coke at Amazon and get it in minutes, not hours. Amazon.com launched its "Instant Pickup" program Tuesday. Shoppers at five college campuses like U.C. Berkeley can use the Amazon app to order from several hundred need-it-now items like snacks, drinks, phone chargers and Amazon devices. Amazon staff in a backroom then load the orders into self-serve lockers within two minutes. Customers receive bar codes to access them. Amazon says the products offered may be priced cheaper than those on Amazon.com. Moor Insights & Strategy analyst Patrick Moorhead says this puts Amazon against convenience stores. SOUNDBITE: PATRICK MOORHEAD, PRINCIPAL ANALYST, MOOR INSIGHTS & STRATEGY, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I think it's a good move where they started, and this is with college campuses. I could potentially see them adding this to major metropolitan areas because in a way what this does is this in a way replaces 7-Eleven or a quick pick-up place to get goods and expands that opportunity to sell maybe more tangible goods." The move underscores the company's broader push into brick-and-mortar retail, such as its purchase of Whole Foods Market. It also means Amazon will compete against vending machine services.