Is Amazon Fresh Delivery a Great Delivery Service?
Shopping for grocery items is mostly a boring affair, and involves spending a lot of time for buyers. The online retail store giant Amazon wants to make grocery shopping as convenient for customers as possible. The Amazon Fresh Grocery Delivery program , known as Amazon Fresh Pickup, is an attempt of Amazon to reduce time for shopping for users. This is a free program exclusively offered to members of Amazon Prime. It involves deliveries of ordered grocery items right at the doorstep of customers. Find out all about the Amazon Fresh program, its pros and cons, what sets it apart and more.
Amazon Fresh – What Is It?
Amazon Fresh, the online grocery store of Amazon, lets consumers shop for groceries online and to have their ordered grocery items delivered at their place the following day. The program kicked off in 2007 in Seattle, Washington, close to the headquarters of Amazon. At first, the program was available only to employees of Amazon in two areas – the Ballard and SODO neighborhoods of Seattle. However, the agency soon expanded the service and made it available to the public as well.
Since then, the program has expanded throughout the US and across the globe. The variety of services and goods has also grown multiple times. Amazon Fresh deliveries are typically available to customers close to as well as suburbs, neighboring boroughs and other places adjoining the cities. In the coming years, the service is expected to expand.
How Does the Program Work?
Goods and food items are stored in the huge warehouses of Amazon, just how their non-edible items are kept. A network of delivery services are offered by Amazon logistics to reach destinations located nearby within as small time as 24 hours.
The grocery items delivered by Amazon are sourced from its partnerships with its own private labels, 3rd party brands and local grocery shops. Customers can get many products, which include organic and vegan options. It delivers items through doorstep or attended delivery.
Buyers can make bookings for drop-off time for a 2 to 3 hour time in doorstep delivery, where foods are left by the door. In attended delivery, you can book a 1-hour window that allows you to be personally available to pick grocery items from the Amazon fresh driver.
While placing an order, there is the chance to cancel an Amazon food delivery or add to an order prior to shipping. You should look at the back and front doors of your house to look for deliveries if you are unable to find them. Deliveries are not made by Amazon Fresh to closed areas or dorms.
Every drop-off scheduling and order is booked via the Amazon website, which includes the option to cancel or add order / items.
Where is Amazon Fresh Items Offered?
Amazon Fresh deliveries are typically made to areas close and around cities, which include neighboring suburbs and boroughs. If you do not know whether your area is served by Amazon Fresh, visit the official website of Amazon and enter your own zip code to know.
As of July 2017, Amazon Fresh grocery service deliveries are available in the following locations:
- Eastern / central London
- Denver, CO
- Chicago, IL
- Dallas, TX
- Boston, MA
- Baltimore, MD
- Philadelphia, PA
- New York City Metro (Central & Northern NJ)
- Sacramento CA, San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles
- Seattle (WA) region
However, after November 30, services were shut down in parts of CA, MD DE, NJ and PA. Buyers in suburban New Jersey and Pennsylvania as well as some customers in Maryland, California and New York also reported that they will not be served any more. Until further notice, the Amazon Fresh delivery services will mainly focus on the main cities.
Is it Worth Trying Amazon Fresh?
The answer actually depends on your situation and budget.
Before trying the program, you should be a member of Amazon Prime. You can try Amazon Prime for Free! This costs 99USD every year. An added service, Amazon Prime Fresh will cost you 14.99 USD every month other than the Prime membership cost. Amazon Fresh can be added to a Prime monthly membership, at a cost of 10.99 USD every month.
For its subscription service, a free 1-month trial is offered by Amazon Fresh. You can avail Fresh for as long time as 3 months if you order the Dash Wand costing 20 USD from the company. The costs of the goods differ based on the foods from local grocery shops and Fresh itself. It is unlikely that you can find extensive coupons from Amazon, unlike what is the case with local markets.
If you wish to avail free shipping, you should be ready to spend at least 40 USD. Given that the costs differ internationally as well as locally, you have to tread with caution. You should take the gas costs into consideration, not to mention your time while going for an online shopping experience rather than a physical one.
Although you cannot get Amazon Fresh as a free service with your own Prime membership, you can get a free trial for either 30 days or 3 months. As a new consumer, you can get a guaranteed trial for 30 days. However, buying the Dash Wand from Amazon for 20 USD will get you a free trial of 3 months from Amazon Fresh.
Other than the trials, you will have to spend a monthly fee of 14.99 USD over your Amazon Prime membership that costs about 280 USD every year. Although the cost might appear to be quite high, you need to take into consideration the expenses for coupons / product savings, gas and various other worthwhile commodities such as the amount of time that you put in.
Are Customers Satisfied with the Service?
A lot of people have attempted the Amazon Fresh deliveries. Until this point, it has got mixed reviews. However, in case you are not satisfied with the quality of your orders, you can get many ways for voicing your concerns. As grocery items are mostly of edible form, you cannot return them.
However, you can get refunds for missing or damaged items. In case your ordered item is not in stock or unavailable after order placement, it can be replaced at a lowered cost with a similar item. In case you do not like the items, with complaints such as the items being not fresh or unsatisfactory, you can get a full refund. If you have any concerns or issues with your own item orders, please visit the customer service page of Amazon.
On the official Amazon website, you can look at Amazon Fresh reviews.
You should add only items having the logo “fresh” while shopping via Amazon Fresh. You will have your chose items put in a shopping cart, and you have to click on them after completing shopping. You will not be able to modify an order once it is shipped, but if needed you can cancel it.
Customer satisfaction with products and success with deliveries can vary from one place to another. The overall Amazon Fresh reviews stay fixed and although some people have problems with the item shipment, others report of satisfactory results. Buyers who are not satisfied can often get additional perks or a refund, which can satisfy them.
- Amazon is continuously trying to make its grocery delivery program more attractive by methods such as reducing its fees and allowing orders to be directly loaded to customers’ cars in areas such as Seattle. With Amazon acquiring Whole Foods, it appears that the online retail store giant is very serious about improving its Amazon Fresh program and taking it beyond an experimental stage.
- The Amazon grocery delivery offers a free trial and the
program has been designed to cut down time for shopping for buyers. As customers can place online orders for groceries from the Amazon website itself and schedule a time to have the orders delivered at their preferred location fast, they can save a lot of time. Grocery items can be delivered at their place in as less time as 15 minutes from the time of order placement, without any minimum purchase policies to be satisfied.
- Large Green Delivery Tote Bags are one of the staples or fixtures of the Amazon Fresh delivery service. These are used to transport a lot of food items. The totes generally comprise of a number of dry ice, ice packs etc and even paper bags that transport goods. Unlike in attended deliveries where you can get just large brown paper bags, brown or green totes are offered in Amazon Fresh deliveries. Each of these bags is recyclable. Actually, every green tote, cardboard divider and paper bag is recyclable.
- The program offers the best preservation of food items. Green totes used in doorstep delivery consist of dry ice or ice packs that allow better preservation of every food item for 2 – 3 hours. Often, dry ice is used for packing of frozen foods such as pizza or ice cream. You can recycle or keep the ice packs.
- It is possible for you to get refunds for damaged food items, as these are eligible for refunds. You can get in touch with customer service staffs if you find green totes or paper bags to be damaged.
- You can schedule the pickups of totes on the official Amazon website, to get rid of the green totes that are used to deliver grocery items at your place. If you leave the totes outside the door, you can expect them to be picked up during your next order from Amazon Fresh.
- Given that the program is powered by Amazon, one of the biggest retailers today, you can be assured of fast deliveries, fresh produces, foods and grocery items.
Unlike its competitors, Amazon Fresh has not yet been able to make its services available through all areas of the U.S. Other than the United States, the program is available in Berlin, London and Tokyo. Walmart, in comparison, serves over 900 areas with its grocery delivery service. It has partnered with Uber and has also revealed plans to introduce voice-based grocery delivery orders soon in partnership with Google.
What Should You Watch Out For?
The cost factor! You need a membership of Amazon Prime in order to avail the Amazon Fresh grocery delivery service for free. There is a 99USD yearly membership fee for Amazon Prime and an added monthly subscription of 14.99USD over this is needed for availing the service. It is up to you to decide whether you have the budget and inclination to spend on this premium home delivery service. Although the quality and delivery speed cannot be debated, it is the pricing that might pinch you – although Amazon has reduced its pricing somewhat in the last few months.
Conclusion – Is the Amazon Fresh Program Here to Stay?
Although Amazon Fresh began around 10 years back, it is yet to establish its domain in the U.S. grocery market that is estimated to be 700 billion USD in total valuation. However, the acquisition of Whole Foods Market in August by Amazon for a record $13.7 billion is anticipated to play a major part in the progress of the grocery delivery program of Amazon.
Presently, Amazon Fresh is being updated. The high expenses of services, lack of availability and late / missing deliveries are the major grouses. However, the quality of food items is rarely an issue. The company has tied up with Allrecipes.com for adding any ingredient that is needed for any Amazon Fresh cart order.
It is advisable that you give the program a try. The biggest reason – you can try it for free as long as you are a member of Amazon Prime. If you do not mind the pocket pinch, the service can be good to try due to the high quality, promise of freshness and promptness of deliveries – that can be expected from a retail giant such as Amazon.