"Instant" just got a whole new meaning altogether. After shortening delivery times to as little as an hour through its Prime Now subscription service, e-commerce behemoth Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) is further paring back its delivery times. The Seattle-based online retailer has launched "Instant Pickup" points on five college campuses around the United States to enable delivery in as little as two minutes.

"As shopping behaviors continue to evolve, customers consistently tell us that they want items even faster," said Ripley MacDonald, director of student programs at Amazon. (See also: Amazon's Alexa Delivers Prime Now Orders in Two Hours.)

The new service works as follows: shoppers select products from a list of fast-selling items, such as snacks and phone chargers. Amazon employees load orders into lockers, and customers (in this case, students) are texted access codes to the lockers. In addition to cutting back on delivery times, the service also provides popular products at cheaper costs. A Reuters report quotes MacDonald as saying that products available through the "Instant Pickup" program "may be cheaper." The service is being rolled out at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA), Georgia Tech, The Ohio State University and University of Maryland. 

Amazon's latest move could have a couple of benefits to its bottom line. The new service will help the company double down on its offerings to the lucrative college student market. Youth constitutes an important and necessary target market for Amazon's popular products, such as electronics, personal care products and basic necessities.

Ohio State, for example, is one of the largest campuses in the U.S., with more than 59,000 students on average each day on its 1,900-acre Columbus campus. The company already has 22 college pickup locations across the country for its regular e-commerce offerings and has opened co-branded bookstore websites in partnership with universities. (See also: Amazon Monetizes Convenience.)

As well, Amazon's on-campus experience could help it successfully expand beyond universities. According to the Reuters report, Amazon intends to open similar pickup points in neighborhoods by the end of this year. This means that the company could take away business from corner grocery stores, which generate most of their sales through "impulse buys." Likely, Amazon will leverage its recent purchase of Whole Foods Market, Inc. (WFM) to expand the scope of its offerings for neighborhoods based on the purchase patterns of residents. (See also: Why Whole Foods Is Amazon's Biggest Risk.)

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