Meet Me in the Middle: How Amazon Delivers Same-Day Service in the UK

November 4, 2014

Marketplaces ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor

What’s one of the best strategies for offering same-day shipping? Having your customers meet you partway!

Amazon is unlocking this secret to success in the UK by offering more than 500 locations for same-day delivery and pickup. In October 2014, Amazon announced a partnership with Smiths News, a leading UK newspaper and magazine wholesaler, to offer customers same-day pickup service via the newsagent’s new subsidiary, Pass My Parcel, which will deliver Amazon packages to its select retail locations.

Pickup locations are available in more than 6,000 locations throughout the UK, but same-day service is available for only 500 of them. During online checkout, buyers may see a “Pickup is Available — Choose from XX Locations Near You” message, which lets them select a delivery and pickup site. With the Pass My Parcel delivery service, the delivery process is expedited through Smiths News’ twice-daily distribution schedule. Orders made by 11:45 a.m. can be available for same-day pickup at 4 p.m., and orders made by 7:45 p.m. can be available for pickup by 6:30 the next morning in these select retail locations.

Amazon pickup

What might be even more compelling is that same-day delivery at these pickup locations is included with the £79 Prime membership. Shoppers without Prime will pay £4.99 for delivery. Shoppers can research pickup locations near them via the Amazon website.

Pickup locations have been a new cornerstone of Amazon’s delivery strategy. One option is via Royal Mail Local Collect, where the customer can retrieve their package from the local Post Office®. Other pick-up options include Collect+ stores or Amazon Lockers. Amazon is definitely delivering on its promise to give customers choices. Amazon has reported that within the last year, deliveries to Amazon Lockers have more than doubled, proving that pickup options meet a very real customer need. With the addition of its first same-day pickup option via Smiths News’ Pass My Parcel, it will be interesting to see which pickup method is crowned king.

Across the pond in the US, the same-day-delivery story is getting a lot of press now that Google Express (GX) has added three new same-day delivery metros, new merchant partners and a subscription fee option for the program. Amazon itself has also been present with same-day-delivery in 13 metro areas and via its grocery-delivery service, Amazon Fresh, which is available in four metros. Read more about these services on our sister blog.

Savvy retailers should be on the lookout for how they might capitalize on this growing trend of hyper-fast delivery. The biggest key to accessing this opportunity is to join the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) bandwagon. To streamline its fulfillment chain, Amazon is consolidating origination and delivery points. By focusing on its distribution centers only, Amazon is keeping the distribution chain lean, allowing for same-day service. So put your products in the Amazon distribution centers via FBA and enjoy the benefits, which don’t just include faster customer shipping — but also increased access to the coveted Amazon Buy Box. Download our FBA eBook for a deep dive into this service.


Blog post by Rachel Miller, product marketing manager, ChannelAdvisor