With the holiday season upon us, this year may be particularly overwhelming for retail giants like Amazon, which is why the company is urging shoppers to pick up packages at stores due to potential delivery delays.
According to Adobe Analytics, online sales this holiday season are expected to spike to 33 per cent for a record $189billion.
Such an increase could cause delays in deliveries with large shippers like FedEx and UPS already warning of a potential capacity shortfall due to the pandemic.
In response, Amazon said it’s offering shoppers ‘easy, convenient, and contactless package pickup options’ at delivery locations in more than 900 cities across the US via Amazon Hub.
This holiday season may be particularly overwhelming for retail giants like Amazon, which is why the company is urging shoppers to pick up packages at stores due to potential delivery delays
According to a statement released Monday, Amazon said customers can also pick up their items at one of its physical bookstores, called Amazon Books, or an Amazon 4-star location.
John Felton, the vice president of Amazon global delivery services, said in the statement: ‘This year many customers and their families are opting to stay home so the challenge of keeping those special gifts under wraps from family, friends or loved ones is going to be greater than ever.
‘We’re helping customers keep their orders a surprise this year and have a number of ways we’re providing them more flexibility, control and convenience over their deliveries,’ Felton explained.
Felton said that flexibility will allow customers to ship to an alternative pickup location, track their package en route to their home, or consolidate their deliveries to a single day so they can plan ahead.
The push for shoppers to have their items sent to physical locations, Amazon could cut down on the number of last-mile delivery trips.
The last-mile delivery is traditionally the most difficult and expensive part of the process and consists of taking the order to the customer’s door from the distribution center.
According to Business Insider, Amazon has said it expects to record about $4billion in COVID-related costs this quarter from a loss in productivity and from buying protective gear for employees.
In rural areas, delivery points can be several miles apart with only a few packages being delivered, but in urban areas, traffic can slow the entire process down.
To help with its holiday deliveries, the company touted its Amazon Day delivery option.
The Amazon Day delivery option is free and available to Prime members who can choose to receive all of their orders on one day of the week, often in fewer boxes, reducing the number of packages and deliveries.
The Amazon Day delivery option is free and available to Prime members who can choose to receive all of their orders on one day of the week, often in fewer boxes, reducing the number of packages and deliveries
An Amazon spokesperson told CNBC in a statement that alternative delivery options are ‘about providing more choice for customers’.
‘We deliver for our customers every day and we’ll continue to do so this holiday season,’ the spokesperson added.
Amazon has continuously encouraged shoppers to start their holiday shopping early as the company manages tight capacity inside its warehouses after months of peak online ordering due to the pandemic.
October was the start of Amazon’s deals for the holiday season, which came a month earlier than usual.
Just week, Amazon’s sales increased 37 per cent and its profit was up nearly 200 per cent in the third quarter.
Walmart also reported a 79 per cent sales increase and Target was up 155 per cent.
Meanwhile, Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man with a net worth of $181.4billion, recently penned an essay about how he makes decisions in his new book Invent and Wander, which was released last week.
The Amazon founder and CEO opened by explaining how he lays the groundwork for decision-making: getting a full eight hours and then allowing time for what he calls ‘puttering’ in the morning – having breakfast with his kids, making coffee, reading the newspaper.
By 10am, he’s ready to take on what he calls his ‘high-IQ’ meetings of the day. And when the clock hits 5pm, he shelves anything ‘high IQ’ until tomorrow.
Bezos said he’s able to fit everything into that seven-hour window because he knows how to prioritize.
‘Think about it: As a senior executive, what do you really get paid to do? You get paid to make a small number of high-quality decisions. Your job is not to make thousands of decisions every day,’ he wrote.
Instead, Bezos said he tries to make only a few decisions each day, focusing on things that won’t come to fruition until a few years later.