Amazon’s ‘Treasure Truck’ puts web flash sales on wheels

June 25, 2015 11:34 AM

(Bloomberg)— Inc. is bringing impulse buying right around the corner.

The web retailer on Thursday unveiled the Treasure Truck, which carries paddle boards, porterhouse steaks and other discounted items that people can buy online and pick up when the vehicle is nearby. Amazon’s mobile application will tell shoppers what’s on the truck each day and list pickup times and locations in Seattle, where the company is based.

While Amazon, No. 1 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide, has daily deals and flash sales on its website and has experimented with temporary physical stores, the marketing stunt effectively merges them. The initiative is aimed at luring shoppers to marked-down merchandise in a short window of time and getting goods into their hands as soon as possible.

While the Treasure Truck has been spotted on the streets of Seattle this week, it will be open for shoppers starting Saturday, the company said.

“It can only work in densely populated areas like New York and Chicago,” said Victor Anthony, an analyst at Axiom Capital Management in New York. “It’s all about getting as close to customers as they can get.”

The Treasure Truck is also designed to increase Amazon’s day-to-day engagement with customers on mobile devices while creating demand through flash sales. And it lets Amazon share the costly last-mile of delivery with shoppers, who will have to go and pick up goods at a set location rather than having them delivered directly to homes and businesses.

Amazon has been pushing for quicker order fulfillment with one-hour deliveries in New York, Miami and a limited number of other big cities. Amazon also competes with Groupon Inc., Zulily Inc. and other daily deals websites, offering shoppers flash-sale items and discounted services.




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