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Amazon moves into crowd-sourcing with ‘On My Way’ app

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E-tail giant Amazon has developed its next delivery drone, and its latest model is you.

With the success of crowd-sourcing companies such as Uber and Airbnb, it wasn’t long before Amazon started imagining the general public as a network of couriers and a solution to their incessant goal for speedier delivery.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Seattle based retailer is developing an Uber-like “On My Way” app which would pay the general public to drop off packages while en route to other destinations.

Powered by the “On My Way” app, traditional delivery services would deliver packages at temporarily rented storefronts, which would act as Amazon’s pseudo-distribution centres. From here, inexperienced deliverers would pick up packages and deliver them to their final destination.

Contractor concerns and surcharges

Consumers will have similar concerns with Amazon’s new “On My Way” app as they did with the launch of Uber and Airbnb, so how can Amazon guarantee delivery within the promised delivery period, stop package thefts and avoid third party delays and surcharges?

The short answer is they can’t, Amazon Prime already sub-contracts to third party European couriers but perhaps the internet behemoth will take inspiration from Uber and its ‘surge pricing’, offering increased fares when a package is nearing the end of its estimated delivery date, its final destination is rural or when a package is valuable and needs careful handling.

Apple has also been exploring new forms of delivery, including Uber itself, but reportedly rejected the partnership for several reasons, including surcharges and high insurance prices on valuable deliveries.

Insurance won’t play as big of a role in Amazon’s decision on how to deliver its goods seen as ecommerce’s biggest player often ships smaller items while also offering a ‘white glove’ service for it’s bigger electronic goods.

Thinking about joining the team, what about Amazon wages? The WSJ noted that Amazon hadn’t completely figured out the way that delivery drivers would be paid, however the probability weighs in favour of Amazon credit. If not, prepare for the online retailer’s next inevitable business venture: international currency.

Say goodbye to the Euro and Dollar, say hello to AmazonCash and  AmazonBucks.

Emily Thornhill

Published on Wednesday 08 July by Editorial Assistant

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