Amazon is encouraging shoppers to pick up packages instead of having them delivered to their homes, which could ease any potential strain on its delivery network as the pandemic seems certain to make this online holiday shopping season unlike any other.
But Amazon pitched package pick-up as benefit to shoppers in a press announcement on Monday: keeping holiday gifts a surprise to household members who may be staying at home because of COVID-19.
Amazon Global Delivery Services Vice President John Felton said in Monday’s press release, “This year many customers and their families are opting to stay home so the challenge of keeping those special gifts under wraps from family, friends or loved ones is going to be greater than ever.
“We’re helping customers keep their orders a surprise this year and have a number of ways we’re providing them more flexibility, control and convenience over their deliveries—whether that’s ordering to an alternative pickup location, tracking their package en route to their home, or consolidating their deliveries to a single day so they can plan ahead.”
Amazon spokesperson Kristen Kish told EcommerceBytes, “We deliver for our customers every day and we’ll continue to do so this holiday season. We’re adding new transportation capacity, hiring 100,000 new full- and part-time employees, plus an additional 100,000 seasonal employees to supplement our current workforce, and putting more selection in fulfillment centers closer to customers, which is possible because of the sophisticated and innovative network we’ve been building for over twenty years.”
Amazon offers alternative delivery locations in over 900 cities and towns across the US. “This network of easy, convenient, and contactless package pickup options—via Amazon Hub—offers customers either an attended or unattended experience in neighborhoods, cities and college campuses,” the company stated.
Amazon explained how pickup works: “Once their package has been delivered, customers will receive an e-mail notification with details about how and where to pick up. Customers then simply visit their selected Amazon Hub location to collect their package. Customers have between three and 15 days to pick up their order depending on the Amazon Hub or Amazon physical retail location.”
Amazon also reviewed some delivery features it makes available to customers, such as Amazon Map Tracking, which lets customers view the progress of their delivery on a map in real-time when the driver is close.
You can find the full announcement on the AboutAmazon.com press page.
This story was updated on 11/23/2020 to include a statement from Amazon.