According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon's latest secret weapon are delivery lockers. The idea is to "combat a problem that has long bedeviled online retailers: failed package delivery."
Amazon's locker program works fairly simply. Customers who ship their item to a locker -- typically in 7-Elevens, grocery or chain drugststores -- are emailed a code after a package arrives that unlocks the door holding their merchandise. The lockers can hold only smaller items that weigh less than 10 pounds, such as books, DVDs or electronic devices like iPads. Users have several days to retrieve their merchandise.
Users don't pay extra to use the service but the locker program helps Amazon save on certain shipping costs. ShopRunner's Ms. Dias said UPS and FedEx Corp. charge retailers as much as 20% more to deliver packages to residential addresses because it is more efficient to deliver multiple packages to a business address. Failed deliveries are also more expensive for online retailers because those consumers are more likely to call customer service, switch to a competitor, or get a replacement item.
Amazon avoids much of that with guaranteed delivery to its lockers, often housed in locations operating 24 hours a day. "When customers ship Amazon orders to an Amazon Locker, they can pick up their packages at a time and place that's convenient for them," said Amazon's Ms. Osako.
Amazon pays a small fee each month, akin to rent, to 7-Eleven and other store owners where it has lockers. Store owners declined to say what the fee was and a spokeswoman for 7-Eleven declined to comment.
|Amazon Prime Air: Delivery of Packages Via Drones|
|Researchers Store Entire Book in DNA|
|Boston Dynamic's Cheetah Running at 45 km/h|
|"I resisted the Poltergeist-like temptation to turn the television on as well": Hacking a 'Smart Home'|
|Unflattening Touch Screen Buttons|
|Japanese Create Ice Cream That Does Not Melt|
|Amateur-Built Electric Car Going After Record Set by Tesla|
|“Banning polluting cars in 2040 or 2050 doesn’t actually look like a very bold move.”|
|Making a Movie Inside a Video Game|
|“This conversation about how technology is hijacking people is really catching on.”|
|Google Map Shows You the Most Photographed Areas of the World|
|“Human and animal cells can be 3D printed into high-resolution tissue.”|
|“Nobody is forcing the participants to stay, of course, but if they leave, they won’t be paid.”|
|“That science fiction future where robots can do what people and animals do may be closer than you think.”|
|“During this phase of decline, the US was likely to go through a phase of reactionary 'fascism'.”|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|Facebook, Twitter Users Could Face Insurance Hikes|