Soon after Amazon AMZN expanded its Whole Foods delivery service to New York City, the e-commerce giant made another grand announcement: Amazon Prime members can now order from Whole Foods and pick the groceries up from a store within an hour, all without getting out of their car.
Amazon's new curbside pickup service is another one of its many attempts at making people's lives more convenient. This new service will have members of Amazon Prime utilize the Prime Now application. Once they order on the app, they can go to a designated parking spot at the store they are picking up the groceries from, and someone will come to them while they are waiting in the car.
The service is starting in Sacramento, California and Virginia Beach, Virginia. Just like how the Whole Foods delivery service has been continuing to expand since the beginning of this year, this in-car pickup service is planned to roll out in more cities later in the year.
Amazon has been successfully expanding its business to various retail sectors-clothes, books, media, toys, etc. In fact, it has been often so successful that once-popular retail stores such as Toys R Us or Borders went out of business because of Amazon.
The main difference between the traditional retail stores and Amazon is the convenience in getting the product. With its famous Prime service, Amazon provides free delivery within just a few days for its products, maximizing the concept of consumer convenience.
Consumers' desire for convenience is essentially why e-commerce platforms such as Amazon are getting more and more popular. In the last few years, before its acquisition of Whole Foods, Amazon launched its own online grocery business, called AmazonFresh. However, the domination of the grocery sector wasn't as easy as that of media or books-perhaps because of doubt that their produce won't be as "fresh" as Amazon claims they will be. After all, for books, toys, and other products, freshness isn't a big issue, unlike groceries. With Whole Foods in the picture though, it gives more credentials.
Whole Foods is known to be the healthy, organic grocery store for rich people. With Whole Foods at its back, Amazon can attract its higher-income prime members. Whole Foods is located in hundreds of upper-income location that will be valuable for Amazon as a distribution center. So not only is the acquisition about food delivery, but also about Amazon's control of these neighborhoods that will enable it to become the next Walmart WMT .
With such immense possibilities within Whole Foods, Amazon is definitely doing all it can to make the most out of it. Ever since the acquisition, it has been implementing many ways in its business model to support the grocery business. Amazon has a lot of discount opportunities for Prime members, especially during Prime Day, and it is expanding its delivery service to the door. Now, it is launching its in-car pickup service.
Such endeavors with Whole Foods are not just about food delivery. By making Whole Foods as its key prime battleground, it is trying to build dominance over certain types of consumers in certain areas. It is also trying to become master of all-including the grocery industry.
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