Amazon has launched new local selling capabilities that will allow its third-party sellers to offer same-day store pickup and fast delivery for customers in their area.
More than half of all products purchased in Amazon’s store are sold by third-party sellers, most of which are small and medium-sized businesses. The new service — which is currently available in select zip codes — will allow customers within a seller’s local area to select in-store pickup and receive a notification when the product is ready later that day, or choose local delivery by the seller.
A number of sellers already are offering Amazon Local Selling, including Sears Hometown Store, Best Buy and Mattress Warehouse. Other interested sellers can now apply to join as the program’s geographic reach expands throughout this year and in 2022.
In addition to enabling sellers to offer fragile or large items they may not previously have been able to sell on Amazon, sellers can now also offer add-on services such as assembly or installation for products they deliver. It’s all part of a larger push by Amazon to enable the growth of SMBs on its platform.
“Local Selling presents enormous opportunities to a large number of sellers who want to bring more product selection to their Amazon business, enabling many to expand their multichannel offerings by integrating their physical stores and delivery capabilities with their digital operations,” said Jim Adkins, VP of Recreational and Vocational Categories at Amazon in a statement. “Our research shows that many customers will opt for local pickup when given the choice. This new capability is an exciting way to help sellers reach and delight more customers with great products and convenience.”
Research from Google indicates that this holiday season will be more omnichannel in nature than any before it, with 64% of consumers saying that they plan to shop both online and in-store. This follows on a huge bump in omnichannel fulfillment options spurred by the pandemic and ongoing product shortages. Google searches for “in-stock” are up 800% from 2020 to 2021, while searches for curbside pickup are up 100% YoY (and that follows on growth of 3,000% from 2019 to 2020), according to Carrie Tharp, VP, Retail and Customer, Google Cloud, who shared some of these stats at the recent Google Cloud Next event.
Walt’s Television, a longtime Amazon seller with a store in Tempe, Ariz. as well as distribution centers in Louisville, Ky. and Dallas participated in a trial of Amazon Local Selling: “Amazon has been the foundation of our national online selling for years,” said Bear Hendley, Manager of Walt’s Television in a statement. “Now we are bridging our online business with our in-person experience, which means more customers are getting to know our brand and full range of services. New local customers are finding us and giving us very positive feedback on the convenience of buying online and picking up at one of our locations. We’ve seen a significant increase in local sales, and we’re excited about the ability to offer installation and repair services to Amazon customers.”