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In case having Amazon products delivered to your home, workplace or a nearby Amazon Locker just isn’r convenient enough, Amazon announced this morning that Prime members in the US now will have the option of having products delivered to their cars - building on a program that had been tested in Europe and on a limited basis in the US.

“With Amazon Key In-Car,” the announcement says, “Prime members with compatible vehicles now have the convenience of having packages delivered inside their cars when parked in a publicly accessible area, typically at their home or workplace.”

Compatible vehicles include Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac models from 2015 or later with active OnStar accounts, and Volvos from 2015 or later with active Volvo On Call accounts. Amazon said the goal is to add other makes and models in the future. The service is available at no extra cost for Prime members - for same day, two-day and standard shipping - in 37 markets across the US.

Here’s how it works, as described by Amazon:

“To get started, customers download the Amazon Key App and then link their Amazon account with their connected car service account. Once setup is complete and the delivery location has been registered, customers can shop on Amazon.com and select the ‘In-Car’ delivery option at checkout. On delivery day, the Amazon Key App lets customers check if they’ve parked within range of the delivery location, and provides notifications with the expected 4-hour delivery time window. The App also notifies customers when the delivery is on its way, and the package has been delivered. Customers can track when their car was unlocked and relocked in the App’s activity feed, and rate their in-car delivery.”

In other Amazon-related delivery news…

Amazon announced this morning that it is now offering “free two-hour delivery of natural and organic products from Whole Foods Market through Prime Now in Denver, Sacramento and San Diego … Prime members receive two-hour delivery for free and ultra-fast delivery within one hour for $7.99 on orders of $35 or more.”

Amazon has said that it plans to roll the service out in various US markets this year; the addition of Denver, Sacramento and San Diego brings the total where it is now available to 10.
KC's View:
Obviously the in-car delivery service is going to be most attractive to people who know where their cars are going to be extended periods of time, and I suppose that it is entirely possible that the offering could find a receptive audience.

I’m an Amazon fan, but this seems like a little too much - but I have this feeling that if I had one of these makes and models and I tried it, I’d then find it to be so cool that I’d get addicted to it. (That’s the way I felt about Sunday delivery - I didn’t need it until I had it, and then I couldn’t imagine how I lived without it.)

It is all about expectations … and Amazon continues to raise them.

I don’t think that people and companies competing with Amazon need to figure out how to mimic such a service, but I do believe that they need to be thinking about how to raise their own bar on products and services - persistently and consistently and always remembering that, in the words of my friend Norman Mayne, that reputation is what you had yesterday and today you have to earn it all over again.