Could Amazon Key Unlock Reverse Logistics?


Amazon Key became available to Prime subscribers today, November 8.

By getting inside your home, Amazon is taking steps beyond the long last mile of delivery, and putting products straight into your pantry or cupboards. Like magic. While the fate of Amazon Key lies in its success with consumers, the possibilities for innovation through the supply chain are very exciting.

Last week, we polled the Netrush office about Amazon Key. The results varied. On the surface, Amazon Key doesn’t sound like much to scream about. Let’s be honest: not everyone likes the idea of a stranger in your home, even if they are being monitored by camera.

1. The Power of Prime

By offering the service to its Prime subscriber base, Amazon is conducting a very calculated test. We don’t need to rehash subscriber stats: Prime is huge. If you can look beyond some of the initial discomfort the service might cause, Amazon Key could be a game-changer in reducing incidents of theft across office complexes and inside apartment buildings. Barriers to home delivery are lifted, and Amazon will be able to determine how successful the new delivery service has been.

2. Product  Exchanges: A Case for Reverse Logistics?

Returns are a cost center and a hassle to customers, manufacturers, and retailers. If product returns or exchanges were couched into the Amazon Key service, it would be a way to save costs for consumers, the environment, and Amazon.

3. Reduce Wrap Rage

The National Retail Federation forecasts that holiday shopping will generate upward of $670B, 59% of which is expected to be spent online. If Amazon were to invest in reverse supply chain capabilities, removing some of the boxes it so gleefully delivers in favor of a container, relieving overburdened recycling bins across the nation, it would bode well in its struggle to shake off negative public perceptions about the impact of Amazon Prime.