Amazon’s A/B testing the produce aisle

 

 

Back in December, you may remember us talking a bit about Amazon Go, a grocery store concept that uses cameras and sensors to track what customers pick up. So ideally, instead of waiting behind someone buying 60 cans of cat food, you could just walk out and get charged automatically.

 

The whole “facial recognition” thing seem like overkill? Well, we thought so too. And apparently, they’re having trouble getting it all to work properly, postponing their planned launch from the end of this month to some unknown future date.

 

But, less than 24 hours after releasing that self-defeating statement, the largest river in the world announced their next grocery store business model, grocery pickup. Fishy timing, great PR move.

They’re calling it AmazonFresh Pickup

 

It all started with straight up grocery delivery (AmazonFresh), then the cashier-less shoplifter haven (Amazon Go), and now their next big thing: Ordering online, driving to the store, and having someone put the groceries into your car (AmazonFresh Pickup).

 

This idea of “click-and-collect” has been popular in the UK for years and Walmart launched the same thing last June in a handful of stores.

 

For now, Amazon’s going to try it with 2 locations in Seattle, making it available exclusively for employees now, and eventually opening it up Prime members.

Seems like they’re grasping at candy straws

 

And for good reason. According to Morgan Stanley Research, the average US household spends about $107 a week on groceries or $5,500 annually.

 

That’s more than double what the average Prime member spends on Amazon per year ($2,500) and 10x what non-members spend.

 

Do a little mental math, and it’s clear that if Amazon can make serious headway in the grocery biz, they’re going to make — carry the 2, divide the square root — a boatload of money.

 

For the time being, however, it’s up to us to decide which of these new ways of buying kombucha and eggs is going to stick. Let’s just hope it’s not drone delivery.

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