E-commerce giant Amazon has launched Hub in Australia to give local customers more control and flexibility over how their purchases from Amazon.com.au are delivered to them.
As part of Hub, customers can choose to pick-up their parcels from two types of pick-up points: Locker and Counter.
For Locker, Amazon has initially partnered with Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), Victorian Authorised Newsagents Associations (VANA), and Stockland Shopping Centres to allow customers to pick-up their parcels from a self-service kiosk located at a partner location.
Meanwhile, Counter is a pick-up point that gives customers the option to receive their parcels in-store from partnering retailers. Victorian-based VANA has been named as the first participating retailer for Counter.
Amazon said regardless of how customers choose to pick-up their parcels, it will notify customers via email when their parcel is ready for pick up. Customers will then have up to three days to pick-up their parcel from a kiosk, or up to 14 days if the parcel has been delivered to a Counter location.
Speaking to ZDNet, Amazon Hub worldwide director Patrick Supanc, said the decision to launch Hub in Australia comes off the back of customers demanding for more control of when and where their package is delivered.
"One of the areas we've seen from customers both here in Australia, and in other countries around the world, is they tell us they sometimes like to have an alternative delivery option, aside from home delivery or door step delivery," he said.
"People live busy lives, they might live in a high-rise apartment building where door step delivery is challenging, they may be travelling, they may sometimes not want their spouses to see the package that is arriving.
"So, listening to these customers, we want to create alternatives for them to still receive their deliveries in a reliable, fast way but to a location other than their home."
Amazon Hub will initially be available in "urbans areas" of NSW and Victoria. Specifically, in NSW these include Linfield, Wetherill Park, and Baulkham Hills, while for Victoria, locations include Mornington, Glen Iris, Moonee Ponds, Glenroy, and Box Hill.
Supanc said while there'll be "dozens" of Locker locations initially available, there are plans to expand it to 100 by the end of the year, adding customers will have "hundreds" of Counter locations to choose from.
Delivery to an Amazon Hub location will come at no extra cost for customers and is available to all Amazon.com.au customers.
According to Supanc, there are also benefits for participating partners too.
"Our partners now have a new service and have a reason for customers to come back to your location. We're also introducing Amazon customers to that service, to that location, where our partners have a chance to convert them for additional sales. That foot traffic is important and that's something that will build quickly for those partners," he said.
The launch of Amazon Hub in Australia comes almost eight years since it was originally launched in the US.
On the point of other future plans for the company in Australia, Supanc said the company continues to be focused on competitive pricing and expanding its product offering on Amazon.com.au, which currently stands at over 125 million items across 29 categories.
"We're going to continue to grow that, so that's going to be an important part of our future. Our core as a company is really around price, selection, and convenience. Our Hub program is an example of convenience, but we're also thinking about price and selection every day," he said.
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