Will Whole Foods draw more Prime shoppers with one-hour curbside pickup?
Whole Foods announced today that free, one-hour grocery pickup is now available at all of its U.S. locations to Amazon Prime members.
The service will include the very same mainstay and seasonal items popular at the chain’s stores and is available for orders of $35 or more. Prime members can access the service through the Amazon app. Once they fill a basket, customers select a one-hour pickup window and check-in using the app once again.
The Amazon-owned grocery chain has, in many ways, been a laggard when it comes to curbside pickup adoption. A recent study published by Ipsos found that Sam’s Club and Kroger offered the most effective curbside pickup programs in grocery. Sam’s offered pickup parking spots at all the clubs audited by the research firm, and Kroger had orders ready on time 97 percent of the time. Whole Foods claims that the majority of customers who check in prior to arriving have their orders brought out to them within one minute of parking in the store lot.
In testing its service, Whole Foods found that 40 percent of all orders were placed by first-time customers. The grocer believes that pickup will only continue to grow as a means for customers to order and collect their purchases. A company press release cites Global Data Research, which found 68 percent of consumers plan to continue using curbside pickup even after the pandemic has passed.
Whole Foods sees the pickup service as a complement to the free-two hour home deliveries it currently offers to Prime members via Amazon Fresh. For an even larger product selection, Prime members can find electronics, household products, toys and other items in addition to grocery, also with free two-hour delivery, using Amazon Fresh, as well.
One potential logistical stumbling block for Whole Foods’ new service is traffic in stores created by Prime workers as they fill online orders for customers. Business Insider reported last month that associates and managers often found Prime shoppers to be a disruptive force in stores. One manager referred to them as “vultures” who “come in and pick every department clean” before the store opens to its walk-in customers.
- Free, One-Hour Grocery Pickup Now Available At All U.S. Whole Foods Market Locations – Amazon blog
- New Study From Ipsos Unveils Brands Best Adopting In-Store Pickup, Curbside, and Delivery Offerings – Ipsos
- Are Amazon Prime delivery shoppers disrupting Whole Foods’ stores? – RetailWire
- ‘It’s like being in a sci-fi nightmare film’: Whole Foods employees say Amazon workers are crowding stores, ignoring virus protocols, and hounding them for help as online orders surge – Business Insider
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you expect Whole Foods’ curbside pickup program to be successful in attracting more Prime members to shop at the grocery chain? What do you see as the upsides and potential concerns around the program as its launches chainwide?