Amazon Fulfillment wants regular folk to deliver its packages – a car and smartphone is all that’s required. The new Amazon Flex platform explains it is looking for drivers who are at least 21 years old and have a valid driver’s license. “You will also need an Android phone and will need to pass a background check.”
Initially, drivers will deliver “ultra-fast Prime Now orders” in their own cars, and the program will expand to parcel delivery in the future.
Why is Amazon working on a crowd-sourced delivery platform that has people comparing it to Uber but for deliveries? Here’s how the marketplace explains it:
“At Amazon, we’re working to be the most Customer-centric company on earth. One customer experience that we’re constantly looking to take to a new level is how we fulfil and deliver their orders. Our goal is to exceed the expectations of all our customers by ensuring that their orders, no matter how large or small are delivered where and when they need them, as quickly, accurately, and cost effectively as possible.
“To meet this goal, Amazon is continually striving to innovate and provide best in class service levels through the introduction of pioneering new products and services in the last mile delivery space.”
Couch potatoes are welcome to apply: “Armed with nothing more than the Amazon Flex mobile app, and using their car, an individual can go from sitting on their couch to making up to $25 or more delivering for Amazon,” the company explains.
Amazon will need to build in scale and efficiency into the program – and no doubt it will be measuring the customer feedback on Flex deliveries very carefully. We wrote about Amazon’s in-house delivery program in June, which received some negative feedback.
Amazon is not the only mega-retailer changing the way we shop for groceries and other items. On Tuesday, Walmart announced a program that lets customers shop for groceries online and pick them up at the store parking lot at their convenience, without having to get out of their vehicle. “With 70% of the U.S. population living within 5 miles of an existing Walmart store, this is an idea that simply makes sense for us,” the company explained on the corporate blog.
Readers are weighing in on the AuctionBytes Blog. “There are days I could make more delivering for Amazon than selling on eBay,” wrote one seller – it’s not clear if they were joking.
Comment on the AuctionBytes Blog.