Amazon has come a long way since it only sold books. Now it sells pretty much everything – and it has been at the forefront of the shift in shopping habits. Before, customers would visit brick-and-mortar stores, browse the product selection available, and make their purchases in person. Lately, more and more people are opting to shop online rather than at physical stores.
Of course, that is only in some situations. There are certain categories where physical continues to be the prevalent choice. Think of clothes shopping as an example, or when people visit a supermarket chain for groceries. Yet, Amazon continues to try and cause a paradigm shift in areas that didn’t seem conceivable.
That is where Amazon Fresh comes in.
What is Amazon Fresh?
What is Amazon Fresh, exactly? Amazon Fresh is a grocery delivery service that is offered by, you guessed it, Amazon. Although it is slowly becoming widespread – hence why you are reading this – Amazon Fresh has actually been around since 2007 in some form. Starting in Seattle, this initiative is now spread across over 40 cities in the United States. It is also present in European countries like the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Italy, and France.
As for how it functions, Amazon Fresh offers customers the opportunity to do their grocery shopping online. They use the platform like they would with Amazon as normal, except this time, they are adding produce, meat, snacks, seafood, and so on to their carts. Their orders are then delivered directly to their doorsteps.
It is important not to get an Amazon Fresh order mixed up with an Amazon Pantry one. Pantry is focused on selling non-perishable goods. Fresh, on the other hand, sell perishables like dairy, fruits, and vegetables.
Amazon Fresh offers same-day delivery for customers. Delivery and pickup options can be chosen from, with the latter possible if you are located near an Amazon Fresh grocery store – more on that later.
As mentioned, Amazon Fresh is only in selected cities across the United States at present. To see if grocery delivery services are available in your area, simply visit the Amazon Fresh page, enter your zip code, and check if you can make an order and book a two-hour delivery window.
How Much Does Amazon Fresh Cost?
There are numerous benefits gained from making an Amazon Fresh order, so what’s the catch? What type of delivery fee is added to the service?
To use Amazon Fresh, you must have an Amazon Prime membership – that’s it. Amazon Prime members can use Amazon Fresh as much as they want, all without incurring any additional charges or fees.
At least, that is the case if they reach the $35 threshold. If the value of an order falls below $35, a delivery charge of $4.99 is added to the total. This goes up to $9.99 for expedited shipping.
What Are Amazon Fresh Grocery Stores?
You know what is Amazon Fresh now, but you might have heard about something else: actual physical Amazon grocery stores. So, what are Amazon Fresh grocery stores?
As the name suggests, Amazon Fresh grocery stores are physical entities. That’s right: in a unique twist, Amazon has decided to push forward with a traditional grocery shopping experience – at least, for the most part.
To begin shopping, a QR code is scanned with the Amazon app for the user to sign in and start exploring the Amazon Fresh store. Once customers enter the store, they will realize something unusual: no registers, no cashiers, and no normal way of paying. This is because they go in, select their items, and simply walk out of the shop. The items that were taken are tracked and a bill is generated through the app. This boosts convenience and efficiency as it allows customers to skip the checkout line.
How Does a Business Sell Through Amazon Fresh?
Amazon Fresh has numerous benefits and is continually growing in prevalence across the country. If you run a business that sells perishable goods, it is only natural to want to get your products on this platform.
Sadly, it is a lot more difficult than when selling through the standard Amazon marketplace.
The reason: since 2018, third-party sellers have been stopped from enlisting to sell through the Amazon Fresh platform. The theory is that after the 2017 acquisition of Whole Foods, Amazon decided to close off the Fresh program to third-party sellers, instead focusing on the brands and products carried by Whole Foods.
However, don’t give up hope just yet! Have a browse through the Amazon Fresh products list, and you will spot the occasional third-party seller and vendor. That means your business can sell its goods through Amazon Fresh.
You just need to put in a lot of effort.
Becoming an Amazon Fresh Seller
To be among the Amazon Fresh groceries, you have to meet certain standards set by the retailer. While Amazon remains tight-lipped about the exact criteria, the starting point is to fulfill the requirements set by the normal Amazon marketplace. Think about having a high-quality product, packaging with all necessary labels, the right pricing, and so on. But because Amazon Fresh is invite-only to third-party outlets, this is unlikely to be enough to receive an invitation to the platform.
Due to this, there is a responsibility on your part to grow your brand and product visibility. You have to stand out from the crowd to the point where Amazon sits up and takes notice. This is where assistance from an Amazon marketing agency can make all the difference. With expert knowledge and skills, an agency can push your brand to new heights, ensuring Amazon becomes aware of your products – and boost sales numbers in the process.
An alternative path to receiving Amazon Fresh orders is to go through Whole Foods directly. If you have products sold by Whole Foods, this automatically makes you eligible to do the same on Amazon Fresh. You don’t have to wait for an invite to come your way. You are eligible and ready to receive sales through Amazon’s platform!
Ryan Flannagan is the Founder & CEO of Nuanced Media, an international eCommerce marketing agency specializing in Amazon. Nuanced has sold $100s of Millions online and Ryan has built a client base representing a total revenue of over 1.5 billion dollars. Ryan is a published author and has been quoted by a number of media sources such as BuzzFeed, CNBC, and Modern Retail.