Coming soon to a neighborhood near you? Most online consumer shoppers will not get home delivery via Amazon’s new Scout robot just yet. But initial testing seems to be going well enough to expand to two test market cities, Atlanta and Franklin, TN.
Amazon’s delivery network has long aimed to provide a wide variety of distribution channels and collection points, including lockers in its Whole Foods grocery stores. Now its robot-on-wheels will be another way to get goods to Amazon shoppers, especially needed as e-commerce sales have surged and home delivery trucks seem to be everywhere in residential neighborhoods. One advantage for Amazon that the robot has over your favorite delivery service driver—it doesn’t stop for lunch or coffee breaks.
The following excerpt from a TechCrunch article reports more on the topic:
One thing’s for certain about Amazon’s Scout robot: It’s as much of a brand ambassador as it is an experiment in the future of last-mile delivery. After debuting early last year, the company has limited Scout to select markets — namely Irvine, California and Snohomish County, which neighbors King County, home of Amazon’s corporate HQ. Among other things, the robot is a kind of six-wheeled rolling billboard for Amazon’s services.
It also, according to Amazon, has been a useful tool as the company’s essential worker status has allowed it to maintain operations during the COVID-19 shutdown. Accompanied by human “Scout Ambassadors,” the cooler-sized robots have also continued to work throughout the pandemic.
And starting this week, Scout will expand operations to two cities in the American Southeast: Atlanta, Georgia and Franklin, Tennessee. The first you no doubt know. The second is significantly smaller, with a population of around 80,000, situated directly south of Nashville. In both cases, Scout’s deliveries will continue to be fairly modest, targeting “select customers” in those cities.
Overview by Raymond Pucci, Director, Merchant Services at Mercator Advisory Group