Amazon Fresh, which previously cost shoppers $15 per month, is now included in Amazon Prime membership. The e-commerce giant announced on its blog this week that Prime members can get free and fast grocery delivery from Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market.
“Prime members love the convenience of free grocery delivery on Amazon, which is why we’ve made Amazon Fresh a free benefit of Prime, saving customers $14.99 per month,” said Stephenie Landry, VP of grocery delivery, Amazon. “Grocery delivery is one of the fastest growing businesses at Amazon, and we think this will be one of the most-loved Prime benefits.”
Given the rapid growth and popularity of grocery delivery the retailer expects this new Prime benefit will be extremely well received. Prime members currently shopping grocery delivery can continue enjoying these services with the added benefit of no longer paying an additional monthly fee. All other Prime members who live in one of the more than 2,000 cities and towns where grocery delivery is available can request an invitation to shop Amazon Fresh or Whole Foods Market delivery, and Amazon will inform them when they are approved to shop.
“This is a big step for Amazon as it continues to emphasize and invest in its grocery business,” said Paul Milner, marketing director, Displaydata. “Amazon’s expansion of Amazon Fresh makes the retail giant a major contender in the grocery space. Grocery is undoubtedly trending towards digital, but the store is still essential and Amazon knows it. It’s essential for grocers to take a leap and invest in digital-enhanced stores that offer convenient, engaging and consistent omnichannel experiences.”
In addition to eliminating the $14.99/month fee, Amazon also improved delivery speed with one- and two-hour options in most Amazon Fresh cities.
“Competitors will need to step up their delivery game even if they don't offer free shipping,” said Patty McDonald, global solution marketing director, Symphony RetailAI. “Traditional grocery retailers should play to their strengths to incentivize shoppers to use their services, whether that’s through localized assortment, fresh items, delivery speeds or in-store experiences to entice their customers. Retailers must continue to focus on the customer and increase speed through technology shifts. Leading companies are embracing AI and technology but many retailers still need to gain efficiency in the basics.”