Putting the “Now” in Prime Now

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First came two-day shipping. Then one-day. Then two-hour. Now Amazon is moving toward instant. Amazon.com is unveiling pickup points in select locations throughout the United States, stocking fast-selling items at “Instant Pickup” points. Need a six-pack of Coke? Order it, then pick it up after an onsite Amazon employee loads it into a locker.

Instant Pickup’s first locations are on five college campuses; more are set to open by the end of the year.

Amazon’s mobile app users have several hundred options at each site. It’s not quite bricks-and-mortar — but it’s pretty darned close.

Next up from Amazon: Sophisticated, AI-enhanced predictive analytics that will deliver a product before we even know we want it. No word on whether that’s actually in development, but only fools would bet against it.

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