Amazon is making some major changes to its distribution processes in an effort to optimize its delivery network and provide customers with quicker delivery at lower costs as well as reducing the company’s carbon emissions. Amazon has been attempting to cut costs for home deliveries and return shipments. Reducing the fleet of residential package dropoffs is a significant cut in Amazon’s delivery costs, but customers may be peeved the costs are pushed onto them.
On May 13th, Amazon announced it has restructured its inventory management system and search algorithms to allow customers to see merchandise closest to their locations to reduce delivery times, achieving 12 percent fewer touchpoints throughout the order and delivery system previously in place.
Customers who have never used Amazon Pickup or those who haven’t utilized the service within the past 12 months can save $10 by picking up purchases of at least $25 at local company pickup centers. Pickup points are located at retail stores such as Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods, or Kohl’s. This could be beneficial for customers during the holiday season who have been paying for Prime’s same-day or two-day shipping, only to have their packages arrive late due to an influx of orders the delivery system couldn’t keep up with.
In a statement released by Amazon earlier this month, the company said, “We offer customers a variety of ways to get their packages, inclusive of delivery and pickup options. The $10 Amazon Pickup promotion isn’t new.”
What is new is a $1 fee for returning packages through the mail when an official Amazon pickup/return center is within a reasonable distance of their homes. Amazon has not made any official statements if this new fee will be issued to customers who cannot drive or don’t have other methods of transportation.
Additional changes introduced back in March include a minimum purchase amount of $25 for its “free” Prime Delivery services – although has shipping ever really been free when a Prime membership now costs $139 per year? Orders under $25 will be issued a $2.99 delivery fee. Food delivery services now have a minimum of $150 per order without customers being charged an additional $9.95 shipping fee.