Amazon.com on its website has revealed a new click-and-collect grocery service for its Prime members under the AmazonFresh Pickup moniker, starting with two locations in Seattle, where customers can have groceries delivered straight to their car trunk.
“Whether you’re shopping for your weekly groceries or picking up a last-minute item, we have thousands of grocery items available at low prices – including high-quality meats, fresh produce, bread, dairy, household essentials and more,” the Seattle-based ecommerce giant announced on its website.
Currently open to Amazon employees in its beta program, much like its Amazon Go checkout-free format, the service will eventually be available to all members of Amazon’s Prime subscription program, allowing them free and unlimited Pickup benefits. AmazonFresh members receive the added benefit of picking up orders in as little as 15 minutes from the time they are placed. Prime subscriptions cost $99 annually or $10.99 monthly, while AmazonFresh subscriptions cost current Prime members an additional $14.99 per month.
Currently, AmazonFresh Pickup is located in two Seattle neighborhoods: SoDo and Ballard, confirming earlier reports of sites at these locations.
“By entering the brick-and-mortar retail environment, Amazon is not only recognizing the power of omnichannel retail; they are pushing its boundaries and creating the most seamless brand experience possible between ecommerce platforms and their physical stores," said Nick McLean, CEO of OrderDynamics, a Richmond Hill, Ontario-based order systems developer. "In many ways, this tactic is helping Amazon merely catch up to retailers who have long leveraged their stores as a competitive advantage, meaning those retailers will need to invest in technology and process to improve order management flexibility and effectively fight back."
Alexis Clarfield-Henry, director of marketing for omnichannel solutions provider Unata, added that Amazon already has cracked the code on creating a convenient shopping experience, and now that it's "quickly extending this" into the grocery arena, it will redefine consumers' expectations regarding how quickly and easily they can get their groceries.
"And with 68 percent of online shoppers willing to switch grocers for a better digital experience, Amazon is starting to look like more and more of a real threat to traditional retailers," she says. "Our advice? Move today and move quickly. Your brand likely already has great resonance with your shoppers, so now it's about expanding your offering to give them what they want and expect."