Amazon expands delivery options, targets uni students

Amazon has launched new delivery options and a dedicated storefront for university students, as part of its ongoing effort to grow its share of the online shopping market since launching in Australia over a year ago.

The online retailer has partnered with local logistics provider, ParcelPoint, giving customers the option to ship their orders to a convenient third-party location, such as a nearby petrol station, pharmacy or newsagent, rather than their home address or place of work.

Because these businesses tend to have longer operating hours than the post office, customers can collect their parcels and drop off parcels to be returned to Amazon after hours and on weekends.

“Choice and convenience are important to Amazon customers,” Craig Fuller, Amazon Australia’s director of supply chain and transportation, said.

“Through our work with the ParcelPoint network across Australia, Amazon customers can now pick up and return their eligible packages when and where they want, at their local store near home or work, and we couldn’t be more excited for the convenience this will bring to our customers.”

ParcelPoint has more than 1300 locations across Australia and works with leading online retailers, such as The Iconic and Asos. Chief executive Julian Leach said the company was excited to work with Amazon’s Australian operations.

“Amazon customers can collect or return their parcels from nearly all of our ParcelPoint locations around Australia, making peoples’ lives just a little bit easier,” he said.

Amazon this week also launched its “Off to University” store, which aims to provide a one-stop shop for uni supplies, such as textbooks, stationery, electronics and backpacks, as students across the country return to classes.

The e-commerce company is advertising 50 per cent off select textbooks through the end of March, or while stocks last.

Inside Retail asked Amazon for further details about the university store, but had not received a reply at the time of writing. However, it makes sense that the online retailer would be looking to attract younger consumers, who tend to be more open to buying a wide range of items online.

In a statement about the launch, Amazon Australia positioned its uni offering as a way for students to save money when purchasing essentials, such as textbooks. The company noted that the cost of living in Australia was already a significant pressure for students, with three in five saying their finances are a source of worry, according to a 2018 report by Universities Australia.

Several retailers have reported lower-than-expected sales over the second half of the 2018 calendar year and into 2019, with stagnant wages and a poor housing market depressing consumer sentiment.

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