Amazon Counter Launches in Canada, Allowing Small Businesses to Store and Hand Customers their Packages

The small business receives the benefit of meeting you.
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Amazon’s well known online catalogue launched the exciting and long awaited Sears model today, with a twist. Dubbed “Counter” it’s a new “network of staffed pickup points that gives customers the option to pick up their Amazon packages in-store at convenient locations whether close to their home, on their daily commute, or while traveling”. This service will not replace the inconvenience of receiving packages directly to your home, but will accentuate it by allowing lucky small businesses the ability to store and hand you your package.

Who needs real estate?

Customers can look at the Amazon catalogue (it’s online now) and then make a purchase. Once a purchase is made the package pickup network empowers Canadian businesses direct access to Amazon’s massive customer database when they pick up their Amazon online catalogue order. The small business receives the benefit of meeting you.

Amazon customer meets a small business owner at Counter location

It’s important to note that Amazon will be allowing customers to walk, drive, or jog to pick up their package from a pre determined location at no additional cost. Amazon is actively seeking business partners with the goal of allowing a small businesses the ability to hold customer packages on behalf of the product catalogue giant.

“The catalogue serves as a mirror of our times, recording for future historians today’s desires, habits, customs, and mode of living.”

Richards Sears, Founder of Sears

Amazon notes it has a long history of empowering businesses of all sizes to leverage its customer base and sophisticated technology to support their business through the potential of increased foot traffic and sales. That empowerment of small businesses has led to Amazon receiving $5 of every $100 spent by consumers in their current online catalogue. In some categories, like books and electronics, the Amazon catalogue empowers over 50% of all online purchases. South of the Canadian border that number represents 40 percent of Americans’ e-commerce spending this year. The second-largest internet store is challenger brand Walmart Inc. who are far behind at about 7 percent. Walmart also offers a Sears catalogue model, but require you to go into their real estate location to pick it up.

“With Counter, we’ve leveraged our growing logistics network to introduce an innovative and convenient way for customers to ship and receive their packages outside of the home.”

Mike Strauch, Country Manager for Amazon Canada

Amazon noted it has made it easy for store partners. “Counter’s straightforward pickup flow and user-friendly technology helps ensure store associates can serve customers without disrupting their daily activities”. This is also convenient for Amazon catalogue customers who wish to limit interaction with the small business that is feely and conveniently storing their package.

If speculation occurs that this model is only beneficial to Amazon, the retail giant has ensured businesses that it’s not. The goal is to help bring additional foot traffic in-store, a concept that was once popular with the baby boom generation.

The new catalogue delivery system is heralded by one of their premiere Counter partners in Vaughan Ontario., Electroshack with the goal of Amazon customers learning about the cell phone repairs.

“We see regular customers more often and add new customers every day. Whenever they come in to pick up or drop off their packages, they also learn about the unique electronic repair services we provide to the community.”

Afzal Khan, owner and proprietor of Electroshack Computer & Cellphone Repair shop in Vaughan, ON and Amazon Counter.
 “Counter brings steady revenue and an element of old-fashioned relationship-based business back to us. We could’ve never afforded the advertising to bring in this volume of new business.” Afzal Khan, owner and proprietor of Electroshack

This is a free service

The no shipping charge catalogue pick up business model isn’t completely new. Customers started using it when it began in 1894 and it was known as the Sears Catalogue. When catalogue retailers started sending packages directly to people’s homes the pick-up model waned. It is likely to see a resurgence now that Amazon has introduced this new model.

Amazon designed and built the technology for Amazon Counter from the ground up, resulting in a quicker and simpler package pickup experience. Customers will have access to hundreds of Counter locations across Canada with plans to expand to hundreds more next year. Delivery to a counter location is available for millions of items sold on Amazon Canada and works with Two-Day and One-Day shipping.

“Bringing this network to Canada is another example of Amazon making investments in communities and local businesses. Amazon will continue to expand this package pickup network across the country and is actively looking for more businesses to join the communal network” of warehousing their profitable catalogue business goods.

Amazon Hub is a worldwide network of pickup and return locations. The program enables any business with a physical location to offer secure package pickup and returns to Amazon customers, and in-turn reap benefits from the potential increase in foot traffic and sales at their location. Our Hub partners can select from various product solutions, including Locker, to serve customers in their neighborhood.

Amazon

Amazon launches locker service too

While Amazon empowers small businesses to meet its customers it is also launching a little known, innovative business model of picking up packages at a locker location. No word yet on which small businesses will benefit from Amazon Locker being installed in their location.

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