It is estimated that around 218.8 million Americans will shop online this year. While online shopping has its perks, buyers do still struggle with certain issues.
Over the past few years, shipping has been one of the main struggles with online shopping. Even though more customers want to receive their products within 24 hours, it’s common to deal with long shipping times.
How can the e-commerce industry satisfy customer demands while offering the convenience of online shopping?
More e-commerce marketplaces have been offering buying options to local customers. With Amazon Local Selling, buyers can shop for products in their area. They can either schedule fast local delivery or onsite pickup.
What is Amazon Local Selling?
Amazon launched Local Selling in October 2021 for merchants who wish to offer fast deliveries to customers living close to a brand’s physical store for in-store products.
Sellers can rely on Amazon Local Selling to deliver products within a 25-mile radius of their shops and warehouses. Customers living within said area will get the local delivery option on Amazon.
It’s a unique way to optimize multichannel deliveries for local businesses.
Any local, regional, or national seller can enroll in Local Selling. However, you must register as an Amazon Pro Seller before enrolling. Although the Pro Seller plan costs $39.99 per month, Local Selling does charge any extra fees.
Interested brands should also own a warehouse or physical store with API integration. This will enable you to receive notices when customers wish to use the service.
Benefits of Amazon Local Selling
Online retail stores will experience many advantages in reaching local customers. Local selling is convenient and fast, and Amazon offers all the tools for local retailers.
Fast and Convenient
As all e-commerce retail stores know, selling products to consumers across the country isn’t easy. You have to worry about long shipping times, lost packages, and damaged goods.
This is why many e-commerce businesses like the idea of selling products to local consumers but opening a brick-and-mortar store may also not be feasible.
Amazon Local selling combines online shopping with the convenience of shopping locally. With multiple delivery options, customers can receive their products in one or two days. Some store pickup options are ready in as little as one hour.
Expand Product Selection
One of the biggest perks of local selling is the ability to offer different products than you did before.
It’s common for e-commerce companies to only sell certain products online. For example, maybe some items are too bulky for shipping, or didn’t want to sell products that expire quickly. With local selling, you can offer perishables or bulky items to customers in your region.
Plus, you can also offer additional services, such as installation and assembly. These add-ons can be a deciding factor for certain customers and will choose your brand for convenience.
One of the many reasons why so many e-commerce stores sell on Amazon is the support they receive. Seller support is available in real-time and in the store’s time zone.
Stores can still receive support outside of typical business hours, which includes weekends, evenings, and even holidays.
Even with Amazon Local selling, you still receive different support communication methods. This includes chat and email.
Plus, Amazon will still handle customer communication on its end. If there’s an issue with an order, Amazon will contact you via email.
Amazon sellers still have flexible fulfillment options when choosing Amazon Local selling. If you have a brick-and-mortar location, you can offer different store pickup and shopping options.
But if your business is still based online, you can use Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) or your own warehouse for delivery and pickups.
You can also seek help from a full-service e-commerce business. Customers can still choose to pick up their order at a locker or Hub Counter.
Do You Qualify?
Since Amazon Local selling has many delivery and pickup options, there are limits to what you can offer. If you want to offer local pickup, you’ll have to prove to Amazon that you have a store or warehouse where customers can retrieve their orders.
Fortunately, you can still offer delivery if you use FBA or another fulfillment option. Amazon can still handle order delivery with their partnered carriers and drop-off orders at the owner’s address, locker, or Hub Counter.
You’ll also have to apply to Amazon Local before setting up your store. You can click here to apply.
One of the many benefits of Amazon Local selling is you have many delivery and pickup options, and you may be able to reach more customers. Keep in mind that these options are only available to consumers in a certain-mile radius of your store or warehouse zip code.
Amazon Local selling offers ultrafast 1-2 day delivery options. All types of businesses, from grocery to electronics, can qualify for this option.
How does local delivery work? You can either handle your own delivery or use Amazon carriers to deliver items directly to your customer’s doorsteps. Amazon works with carriers from all over the country and even local delivery drivers with their Flex service so that you can guarantee fast delivery to your customers–even weekend and Sunday deliveries.
Buy Online, Pickup in Store
What is buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS)? Buy Online, Pickup in Store (BOPIS) is a service that Amazon specifically offers to local sellers. With this option, shoppers can purchase their items online and pick them up at your storefront. You can offer in-store pickup as quickly as 90 minutes.
What are the BOPIS product options available? Technically, you can sell nearly any product with BOPIS. But BOPIS is most popular among consumers wanting to buy clothing, home products, groceries, and any item in the recreational and vocational categories.
Standalone Local Pickup
Standalone pickup is different from BOPIS. With this option, more customers can access the products that you don’t offer in-store, such as bulky items, perishables, and fragile products. Customers can still order these items and pick them up at your physical location.
This option isn’t available yet. With curbside pickup you will soon be able to offer curbside pickup for Amazon customers. In this case, customers can drive up to the seller’s local store and park in a designated parking spot. A staff member will then bring out their order to the customer without them leaving the car.
Is the Amazon Local Selling Program Worth It?
With Amazon Local, you can reach customers located in specific zip codes. You can offer fast local delivery or offer pickup options.
Amazon Local is still very flexible. You can use the fulfillment you want and choose the delivery options that best fit your business. Plus, you still get the same perks from Amazon, such as seller support.
There are some best practices to know before using Amazon Local. First, you must apply to become an Amazon Local seller before listing any of your products. If you want to offer pickup, you must prove your storefront or warehouse is in a location where customers can claim their order.
Local selling is mainly a good idea for businesses that sell bulky, fragile, and perishable items. Sellers that want to offer additional services such as installation, and any company that wants to develop a deeper connection with local consumers.
About the Author:
Stephanie Jensen has been writing e-commerce content for seven years, and her copy has helped numerous stores rank on Amazon. Follow her on LinkedIn for more insight into freelance writing and creating high-quality content.