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(Pocket-lint) - Another day, another Amazon service.

The online retailer has launched something called Instant Pickup. Immediately, the media has begun spinning this as Amazon's latest push into physical retail outlets, as it allows you to instantly pick up “daily essential” goods at select locations across the US. You can pick up things like food, drinks, phone chargers, and, of course, Amazon Echo devices. Here's what you need to know.


What is Amazon Instant Pickup?

In an announcement on 15 August, Amazon described Instant Pickup as a "free service" that offers a "curated selection of daily essentials available for pickup in two minutes or less at five of Amazon’s fully staffed pickup locations". Items available with Instant Pickup include "snacks, drinks and electronics, as well as some of Amazon’s most popular devices", according to Amazon.

Who can use Amazon Instant Pickup?

Instant Pickup is only available to Prime and Prime Student members. To become a member, you must be a paid Prime subscriber. You can learn more about how Prime works, including how much it costs, from here. It's clear that Instant Pickup is being targeted at students, as all Instant Pickup locations are on or located near major college campuses.

Where is Amazon Instant Pickup available?

At launch, Instant Pick is available at select pickup locations in the following US cities: Los Angeles, California; Atlanta, Georgia; Berkeley, California; Columbus, Ohio; and College Park, Maryland. Amazon said it plans to expand Instant Pickup locations throughout the year, including one in Chicago, according to Reuters

How does Amazon Instant Pickup work?

Open the Amazon Shopping app on your iOS or Android device (make sure it is up to date). To find eligible items for "instant pickup", tap the menu button at the top of the app and then look for Instant Pickup in Programs and Features. You can browse and add "hundreds" of items from the pickup screen, then place an order through the Amazon app, and pick it up two minutes later.

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Is that it?

Yep. Although, according to Reuters, Instant Pickup prices may be occasionally priced lower than regular Amazon orders. 

Writing by Elyse Betters.