Amazon's latest and greatest idea is ...

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Amazon's latest and greatest idea is ...

03/29/2017

Amazon has launched a new service, called AmazonFresh Pickup, which allows Prime members to order groceries online, make an appointment to pick them up and then drive up and have the grocery bags loaded into their trunk by an Amazon employee.

No money changes hands; the entire transaction takes place via the Amazon app or at home on the customer's computer.

The retailer says thousands of essentials, including "high-quality meats, fresh produce, bread, dairy, household products and more," will be available for purchase through AmazonFresh Pickup.

Now, this is not new technology. Many retailers offer click and collect grocery services, including Walmart, Kroger and H-E-B. But the difference is that Walmart, for example, puts restrictions on orders: a $30 minimum, a long lead time for orders to be ready for pickup, etc. 

Amazon has no such restrictions. Orders can be ready in as little as 15 minutes after they are placed. There’s no order minimum and the service is free for Prime members. Plus, Amazon has a very popular mobile shopping app. 

Amazon has been exploring a variety of ways to disrupt the grocery business, including by opening cashier-less stores called Amazon Go. Those stores where scheduled to open this year in the Seattle area, but have been delayed after a series of problems.

For now, Amazon has two grocery pickup locations open for business, both in the Seattle area.