Online order-and-pay grocery store pickup just added another provider—Whole Foods—although the service will only be available for Amazon Prime members. Whole Foods will process the digital orders for pick up in one hour, as the following Wall Street Journal article reports.
Whole Foods is introducing pickup points for online grocery orders, the latest change Amazon.com Inc. is introducing to compete against rival food retailers. Grocery pickup is the first major new service introduced at Whole Foods stores since Amazon in May began slashing prices that Prime members pay there.
Stores with the service will have reserved parking spots for customers who have placed orders online. Prime Now employees working at Whole Foods stores will bring goods those customers have ordered directly to their cars. Online grocery pickup, or “click and collect,” has become particularly popular with suburban shoppers who drive to get their groceries. Walmart Inc. and Kroger Co. have invested heavily in opening hundreds of pickup locations.
Whole Foods on Wednesday said it added the service in Sacramento, Calif. and Virginia Beach, Va. and plans to add more cities soon. Grocery pickup will be available only to Amazon Prime members, another way the e-commerce giant is using Whole Foods to make its subscription service more attractive after raising the annual fee by 20% to $119.
Amazon continues to leverage the Whole Foods acquisition, with particular attention to providing additional benefits to its Prime members. Many national grocery chains have rolled out online or mobile ordering to meet the needs of customers accustomed to the on-demand economy. Grocery store pickup alleviates the logistical problems handling produce and perishables, as well as added delivery costs. Now drive-time commuters can have their milk, bread, and evening meal items waiting at a nearby Whole Foods, saving time. Want it even faster? For another $5, Whole Foods promises a 30 minute turnaround.
Overview by Raymond Pucci, Director, Merchant Services Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group