I’ll admit it. The only reason I go to the grocery stores these days tend to be for, well, groceries. Everything else mostly falls into the online shopping bucket and Amazon is by far the majority winner of my spending. As you would expect, this trend continues throughout the holidays when shopping for gifts becomes common. With so many packages being delivered, it’s very easy for someone to open a box with a gift before they should and spoil the surprise. Thankfully, a bundle of new and existing Amazon delivery options are here to save the day. Continue reading to see what Amazon offers.
A plethora of Amazon delivery options aim to keep gifts ‘spoiler free’
In my area, I’ve seen less UPS and USPS Amazon package deliveries than ever. This is because they have been replaced by Amazon-branded delivery trucks. At first it seemed like branding was all that it was, but over time I’ve started noticing new features that were never offered prior to the switch and they include Map Tracking, Photo-On-Delivery, and Predicted Delivery Window.
We’ll kick things off here with Amazon Map Tracking. As the name implies, this feature allows customers to see where their package is on a map on the date of arrival. Additionally, shoppers are able to see the number of stops left before the package is due to arrive. This capability goes hand-in-hand with Amazon Photo-On-Delivery and Predicted Delivery Window.
Amazon Photo-On-Delivery is precisely what you’d expect it to be. Once a driver has dropped off a package, they snap a photo of it and make it visible in the Amazon app. You have to be signed in, but this feature allows shoppers to quickly find a gift package and get it out of sight before the recipient finds it.
Taking a page out of the book of other couriers, Amazon Predicted Delivery Window gives shoppers a 2-4 hour timeframe of when a gift will arrive. It should go without saying, but having this information readily accessible will let you plan around when a gift is going to turn up.
Now that those three are out of the way, let’s talk about pickup options that can work around your schedule. These Amazon delivery options include Amazon Lockers, Counter, and Locker+. In a nutshell, each lets you send a package somewhere other than your home so you can pick it up without sweating bullets that your thoughtful gift will no longer be a surprise.
“We’ve all been there—trying to hide a gift from a curious child or making sure a loved one doesn’t find the surprise you’ve ordered,” said Patrick Supanc, WW Director of Amazon Hub. “Our growing network of delivery and pickup options gives Amazon customers more flexibility and control than ever before – and we will continue to innovate and bring even more convenience and choice to our customers.”
Let’s talk Amazon Lockers. These self-service kiosks are available in more than 900 cities and towns across the United States. Where they are will depend on your location, but common placement includes malls, stores, offices, and select Whole Foods Markets. Packages are delivered to a locker and customers have three days to pick them up. If no one shows, packages are automatically returned to Amazon for a refund. Locker+ is largely the same thing but instead of a 3-day window, customers will have up to fifteen to pick up their delivery.
Last on the list we have Amazon Counter. For all the things companies aren’t great at naming, you have to admit that each Amazon delivery option title just makes sense. That being said, Amazon Counter is a service that lets shoppers pick up a package at the count of a partner location like Rite Aid, GNC, Health Mart, and Stage Stores. When it comes to pick-up timeframe, Amazon Counter is similar to Locker+ as customers have 14 days to pick up items. As is the case with Amazon Lockers and Locker+, packages that aren’t picked up will be automatically returned for a refund.
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