Amazon is making its shipping and delivery process a little easier and more personal for students at Purdue University. The online retailer launched its first staffed pick-up and drop-off location at Purdue's Krach Leadership Center.
The company's latest venture eliminates the need for shipping to multiple dorms or homes on campus, instead bringing all the deliveries to one central location for students. After signing up on Purdue's Amazon page or joining Amazon Student, students can identify the required books for any class, which are marked online with the university's logo and include class information. When their orders arrive at the new location, a text or email notification is sent to the customer with a link that generates a barcode. Scanning the barcode at the pickup location allows each customer to pick up their order from either a self-service locker or from one of the associates at the counter.
Even as the new location opens its doors today, Amazon already has plans for the next staffed location. Later this spring, Purdue will have a second shipping center less than a mile away from the first, at the Purdue Memorial Building. The company is also offering free one-day shipping to all Purdue students who pick up their orders at both locations.
However, Purdue may not be the only college to have this feature in the future. Amazon also mentioned that it has "similar arrangements" with the University of California, Davis, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
The reveal of a physical Amazon pick-up and drop-off location comes as the company sets its eye on acquiring a few physical locations from RadioShack, which recently filed for bankruptcy. If successful, Amazon could have the stores feature its products such as the Kindle and Fire as well as pick-up and drop-off locations like the one at Purdue.
However, it does have competition in the form of Sprint, which has plans to grab between 1,300 to 2,000 vacated Radioshack locations. Either way, it shows that the online retailer is pushing its way into the physical world by providing key locations for shipping and pick-up as well as showing off its own products.