Amazon, which is always one step ahead of the game when it comes to innovative retail practices, has recently confirmed that it intends to use its growing locker collection business to bring new customers into its recently acquired grocery chain Whole Foods. A pilot found that Whole Foods stores that had the lockers installed saw an increase in rapid-visit customers.

This customer group is important to Amazon, as quick visitors are likely to be swayed into making higher-value impulse buys. Amazon has found that the presence of the lockers boosts sales through micro visits that last for just five minutes maximum. The company saw an 11 per cent increase in these visits when the lockers were installed.

Amazon shoppers can choose to have their deliveries sent to a private locker, which can be accessed with a code. This is convenient in particular for those customers who are worried about their parcels being taken from porches or left with neighbours they don’t know.

The CEO of market research agency inMarket said that even rapid deliveries were unable to compete with the immediacy of being present within a store and being tempted to make an immediate purchase from a POS display or promotion. Whole Foods will be able to support these impulse purchases by placing promotion products next to the lockers, with self-checkouts for immediate and easy purchasing.

This development is an interesting example of how savvy retail link-ups can help to drive further sales and mutual benefits for partner businesses. A similar example has been seen with the rise of businesses offering parcel collection services at their convenience stores, newsagents or other retail premises. The need to evolve to meet changing customer needs is key.

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