Amazon Prime NowFREE
- No trips to the grocery store
- Free delivery
- Reasonable prices
- Growing selection
- Get beer and wine delivered
- Who are these drivers?
- Limited availability
- Minimum order requirement
- Funky ordering process across multiple store
Grocery shopping is a waste of time. The stores are designed to get you to walk up and down all the aisles, hoping you’ll wander by something they’ll tempt it’s way into your shopping cart on the way to find the bread, milk, and eggs you came for.
That’s the basic premise of Amazon Prime Now, a grocery delivery service from Amazon.
What is it?
Amazon Prime Now is a benefit of Amazon Prime where members can download an app to place orders for fast same-day delivery in select zip codes.
Adam’s Description: It’s a Amazon’s attempt to collect even more data about you. The benefit is you can get food delivered in a couple hours and if you spend enough you’ll get free delivery.
Grocery delivery is far from new. People have had food delivered to their door for centuries. Some argue that cities formed largely to consolidate food production and distribution… so the idea of food delivery is one of those things that, once you try it, connects deep.
This is Amazon’s second attempt, at least in San Diego, at grocery delivery. The simple fact is that companies have been trying to figure out online grocery shopping for the past 15 years. I remember when we lived in Chicago the rise and trickle-out of Peapod. (They are still around!) We tried Amazon Fresh but found that the $299 annual subscription plus a minimum $35 order just too cumbersome to really adopt. We used it a couple of times before Kristen flat out rejected it.
Over the weekend we had three difference Amazon Prime Now deliveries. The first was a spontaneous act. We typically order pizza on Friday night. When I placed my order for “the usual” I decided to pop onto the Amazon Prime Now app and order a six pack of Mission Brewery’s blonde. Presto! Right after the pizza came a guy rang the doorbell and handed me a six pack. Everyone in the house roared with laughter!
Kristen jumped on the bandwagon Saturday evening, converting her shopping list into two orders for the weekly groceries. The staples came from Amazon itself and the rest came from Sprouts.
Here’s what we like
Price, selection, delivery: The prices have become competitive to local grocery prices & more specialty shops have come on-board which makes the selection much better. When you add that in with free 2-hour delivery? All of a sudden Amazon Prime Now gets very, very attractive.
Shopping gets easier & faster: The vast majority of what you buy at the grocery store is the same with each trip. Bread, milk, eggs, cereal, coffee, etc. What’s great about Prime Now is that you can create two kinds of lists. I can add all of the stuff I always buy into a list I call “the staples.” Then, as I’m planning meals for the week I can add things to another list say, “this week’s grocery list.” Then when it’s time to place an order I can either dump all of those things into my shopping list OR (and this is fun) I can just go to my Amazon Tap and say, “Alexa… add everything on the staples list to my shopping cart, also add this week’s grocery list.” And boom, it’s done.
Things I Don’t Like
Selections are limited – Amazon Prime Now kind of opens pandoras box. Grocery shopping is infinite and you kind of expect them to have everything, plus have it at competitive prices. That’s just not the case yet. I think it’ll get better over time as people adapt to it, but if price and selection are what really matters than Prime Now isn’t exactly ready for primetime.
Quantities aren’t there yet – I think that this service could replace our bi-weekly trip to Costco. But they just don’t have the bulk item thing right yet. Stuff that we buy a lot of is available on Prime Now… just at a much higher cost than Costco.
Scheduling deliveries is funky – Above I made it seem more simple than it really is. In reality, the things that you want to order get sorted into shopping carts based on where the groceries are coming from. This means that when you place your order, as with this week’s groceries in our house, you’ve got to manage what items come from which store. To get free shipping you still need to hit a minimum threshold for each store… meaning you can’t use it just to pick up a couple items.
Who are these drivers?!?!?! – When we used Amazon Fresh everything got delivered from these cute little Amazon Fresh vans. The three orders we received this weekend were delivered by what looked like Postmates or Über drivers or a guy who just got fired from Über or Postmates for being too creepy. The people delivering our groceries did a fine job. But their beater cars and misfit uniforms just didn’t elicit much confidence. No way I’d let them in my house! Leave it on the porch, homey.
The Money Line
I know Amazon Prime Now isn’t available all over the U.S. just yet. But I think Amazon is going to get this figured out. As more areas come on board you’re going to see them iron out the wrinkles. As Kristen said last night… “If they could make it so I could have our groceries delivered to the rental house when we were on vacation… that’d be great.” Not quite there yet, but Amazon Prime Now seems like it’s on it’s way.