Amazon’s vision is to be the world’s most customer centric company and what this means in practice is they are always looking for ways to add value to customers. This year that has meant innovating in the physical world rather than just the online world.
One of the problems all online shoppers face is what happens when I get something delivered and I am not home? Missed deliveries……..
To address this need Amazon has begun expanding its physical footprint in the US by providing the Amazon Locker. This push first started with the 24 hour convenience chain, 7-11.
It recently announced a partnership with Staples to extend its locker footprint to their stores. Customers can opt to have packages sent to their nearest staples store, they are then emailed a code and have 3 days to pick up their package.
Given Amazon’s mission to save customers money, it is a great strategy designed to expand its options available to customers without increasing its costs substantially.
It is potentially an interesting win-win partnership with Staples who competes with Amazon in the online environment. Staples will get a fee and more foot traffic and Amazon a physical footprint to provide more convenience for customers.
From a competitive standpoint this development also makes sense as the major physical retailers get better and blending online and offline purchasing options. For instance more than half of the sales from Walmart.com are picked up at Walmart stores so customers clearly like this option.
The only way to compete in this environment is to innovate around the ever evolving customer needs, does your company have a customer centric culture?