Amazon is offering a new option for receiving packages, which can help you deter package thieves and nosey gift recipients alike.
It’s one of a growing number of delivery options. In fact, this holiday season, Amazon reminds you that you have multiple options not only for delivery of packages but for tracking packages and keeping gift packages secret.
Here is a look at the new and existing options.
Pick up packages at alternative locations
The Amazon Hub network enables you to request that your package be delivered to an alternative location, where you can pick up the item at your convenience.
These locations, available in more than 900 U.S. cities and towns, are often lockers. But for the first time this holiday season, you can now pick up gifts at Amazon 4-star or Amazon Books, which are brick-and-mortar Amazon stores.
Using any of these delivery options not only keeps your package safe by thwarting package thieves, it also makes it easier for you to hide gifts intended for other members of your household.
To search for Hub locations near you, check out the Amazon Hub page. To search for a physical Amazon store, go to the store locations page.
To have a package delivered to an Amazon Hub location or an Amazon store, select the best location when prompted during the checkout process. Once it is delivered, Amazon will email you about how to pick it up.
Track packages en route
Amazon says there are a number of ways to track packages being delivered to your home — such as through Map Tracking, Photo-On-Delivery and Estimated Delivery Windows.
You can even use a feature in the Amazon mobile app called, “Share Tracking,” to enable a gift recipient to track your gift en route to the recipient’s home. Amazon explains:
“Once the package ships, Amazon customers can go to ‘Your Orders’ on the Amazon app, select their purchased item, and tap on the ‘Share Tracking’ feature on the tracking page. Once selected, customers can easily send a link to the tracking information via SMS, email, or messaging apps such as WhatsApp. If the customer marks the item as a gift at checkout, once ‘Share Tracking’ is sent, the recipient can also virtually ‘unbox’ the item, send a thank you email, and more—right from the Amazon app.”
Amazon Day is a delivery option available to Prime members that allows you to receive all orders on one day of the week. Amazon says this option makes it “easier to protect holiday surprises from being discovered by your household.”
Keep Alexa quiet
Finally, Amazon says its Alexa interactive assistant technology, available on many smart home devices, also will try to keep gifts secret.
Alexa will hide the names of possible gift items, even if customers ask “Where’s my stuff?” You can also mark an item as a gift during the checkout process, which will keep Alexa from revealing the names of the items.
Amazon says these options can help shoppers keep their gifts “spoiler-free” by preventing gift recipients from seeing gifts early.
John Felton, vice president of Amazon Global Delivery Services, notes that the pandemic has made it more difficult to keep gifts secret in 2020:
“This year, many customers and their families are opting to stay home so the challenge of keeping those special gifts under wraps from family, friends or loved ones is going to be greater than ever.”
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