Online retail giant Amazon has already dramatically altered how consumers around the world shop for and purchase goods. Now, the company aims to reshape standards of delivering online-purchased products by unveiling Amazon Locker, a service that enables customers to conveniently pick up online orders at “lockers” or kiosks located within local drug and convenience stores. Social media analysis conducted by Crimson Hexagon revealed some interesting findings.
Appealing to apartment complex residents and consumers with day jobs, for whom receiving shipments at home is often a delayed and inconvenient process, Amazon Lockers represents one component of the company’s new initiative to get items into the hands of customers more quickly. Although it’s currently undergoing trials in popular early-adopter locations like Seattle, Washington D.C., New York, San Francisco, London, and Japan, Amazon hopes to expand the service’s availability over the next year.
For a few years, Amazon has offered Japanese customers the option of having packages delivered to Lawson stores—Japan’s second largest convenience store chain—for convenient pick-up.
In this model, there aren’t “lockers” at the store. Instead, customers specify a nearby Lawson as the delivery location, and are sent a “key” from Amazon.com with an authentication code and estimated date of arrival. This code is then redeemed at a Loppi machine (picture below) in Lawson where customers print their order receipt from the ATM-like machine and present it to a store clerk to retrieve their package. Also, Japanese customers have the ability to pay for their online orders at Lawson stores.
Using the Crimson Hexagon ForSight™ platform for social media analysis, we analyzed nearly 3,000 Japanese Tweets about this delivery service over a seven-month time period. We hope to gain insight into the benefits realized by Japanese customers in order to anticipate how this model may be received in the US and UK when it is introduced more broadly.
Overall, Japanese customers regard this shipping option very positively, citing that the greatest benefit of using the service is no missed deliveries (38%). In Japan, it is not common for packages be left at the door; rather, these items are returned to the distribution center for delivery at a later time. Japanese customers who work late, and routinely miss the deliveryman, value the option to pick up packages at nearby Lawson stores.
On the other hand, 13% of the conversation is customer frustration that Amazon won’t ship certain products to Lawson. Pornography and provocative Japanese “figures” are among some products that will not be shipped. These Japanese customers express that they are upset, because they want these items sent to Lawson, rather than to their homes where their families might see them.
Additionally, some customers complain about the delays in receiving electronic key codes via email to input into the Loppi machine (6% of the conversation) and that there are no convenient Lawson locations for them (5% of the conversation).
Given what we know about Japan’s reception of the new delivery option and current Amazon buying habits, how many consumers in western countries will find this delivery option attractive? Will people elect to use Amazon’s service over the more standard shipping methods offered by Amazon and most other retailers? For answers, we again turn to Crimson Hexagon’s ForSight social media analysis platform.
It seems that many US and UK consumers are excited about the service and its potential. Further, using ForSight we identified the key benefits that consumers were talking about regarding Amazon Lockers.
In general, early adopters around the world sound excited about Amazon’s commitment to its customers, the potential convenience factor of Lockers, its simplicity and its ability to resolve shipping woes like delays and missed deliveries.
Interestingly, however, ForSight also revealed that consumers in the United States weigh these benefits differently than those in the United Kingdom do. While the largest plurality of users in the US found the locations to be very convenient (19%), those in the UK identified the certainty of delivery (15%), in addition to the service’s added convenience (18%) as the top benefits. British consumers also opined that this new service reflects Amazon’s commitment to serving the needs of its customers (13%).
Americans and Brits also differed in their proportions of neutral commentary. In the US, 46% of relevant conversation either explained the service or asked questions about it, but this kind of language only accounted for 33% of the British conversation. Instead, conversation in the UK tended to carry more opinion, with 62% discussing the benefits of Amazon’s new delivery service, versus America’s 47%.
Negative sentiment regarding the product comprised of general concerns and bugs consumers found. But with the service currently in beta stages, Amazon still has the opportunity to anticipate and address these worries.
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