Amazon is offering customers $10 to collect their own packages rather than have them delivered, in an attempt to cut operational delivery costs.
The offer follows a decline in consumer demand for the e-commerce giant.
This week, a number of Amazon Prime subscribers were emailed with an offer to receive $10 if they picked up an order of over $25.
Dean Maciuba, a shipping consultant based in New York, told Reuters that the offer is, “a huge opportunity for Amazon to reduce the cost of delivery.”
Maciuba also said it would help train consumers to make returns directly to the company themselves rather than scheduling pick-ups.
Amazon has been trying to get customers to return items directly for a while now. Most recently, the company began charging customers a $1 fee if they used a United Parcel Service store instead of an Amazon pick-up/return location.
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Last year, Amazon increased its annual Prime subscription by $20 to $139. The Amazon Prime subscription gives customers a free delivery benefit.
As well as the price hike, the e-commerce giant pushed for customers to have all their deliveries on the same day every week.
According to research analyst GlobalData, delivery is a major battleground for online retailers, with companies competing to offer the quickest, safest, cheapest, and most convenient order fulfillment options to customers.
While Amazon’s move to encourage customer collection is one approach, competition within the ecommerce delivery space is driving investment in innovative delivery options.
According to GlobalData, these include the use of robots, drones, and smart lockers. The launch of new delivery services that use self-driving robotic delivery vehicles and drones is expected to significantly shorten delivery times and facilitate deliveries to remote locations.
GlobalData is the parent company of Verdict and its sister publications.