Not content to stop at slipping packages inside customers 'front doors, Amazon.com Inc on April 24 started a new program to deliver packages to its members' parked cars.
The world's largest online retailer is rolling the program out in 37 US cities for customers with newer compatible vehicles and plans to expand the service. All that is required to have a car, such as the General Motors Co's OnStar system or the Volvo Car Group's On Call service.
The in-car delivery effort is part of Amazon's drive to leave packages where they can not be easily stolen. Since 2011, Amazon has secure lockers for urban customers.
“Amazon will keep looking for ways to reduce last mile friction and cost. I'm sure many consumers would prefer to have their car trunk opened remotely, “said Greg Melich, an analyst at MoffettNathanson.
The in-car service builds on an effort Amazon launched last fall called Amazon Key. That system uses a US $ 220 (RM860) combination of an Internet-connected door lock and camera to allow Amazon Prime. By contrast, the in-car delivery service is free for Prime members. It will be offered in San Francisco, Seattle, Atlanta, Nashville, Milwaukee, Salt Lake City, Washington, D.C. and other areas.
The Amazon's in-home delivery option put Amazon in direct competition with the so-called smart home security companies such as Amazon's Amazon's Nest Labs and Presaged US $ 1bil (RM3.91bil) acquisition of connected doorbell maker Ring.
“I think this is a good example of Amazon's test-and-learn culture. The company tries many different things, some are successful, others less so, but all provide important insights for the company, “Atlantic Equities analyst James Cordwell said.
But the new in-car delivery service may have broader reach because it works with many compatible cars from Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac and Volvo, with plans to deliver to more makes and models in the future.
In a statement, GM said at least 7 million owners of compatible GM models. Amazon has not disclosed how many customers have tried its Amazon Key in-home service.
In-car delivery also gives Amazon an in-between option for customers who might want a more secure delivery location delivery of goods in their homes.
“Everything is securely encrypted between the two”
“The Amazon delivery service taps into the car's built-in unlock” services, “said Rohit Shrivastava, Amazon Key's general manager.
Shrivastava also said that Amazon can not see or track the customer's car; instead, the customer gives Amazon an address where the car will be parked and publicly accessible, along with the make, model, color and license plate number. Customers also get several reminders on their phones before, during and after the packages are delivered. – Reuters