April 25, 2014
Amazon Prime Can Help Fill Your Pantry For $6 Shipping
Enid Burns for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Amazon.com is adding a new service to its Prime offerings - a $5.99 shipping fee for up to 45 pounds of groceries delivered to your door. Prime Pantry became available this week, and is a new incentive for people to spring for the Prime service from Amazon.
The new Pantry service allows shoppers to stock up on staples in a number of categories such as food and snacks; cooking; beverages; household items; personal care; health and nutrition; baby care; and pet care. While there is a fee for shipping, products are competitively priced, reports Gizmodo.
A meter fills up based on weight as shoppers fill their boxes when shopping for Pantry items. The approach is a novel way to help consumers know how much they are putting in their box so they don't end up with a second $5.99 charge for just a pound or two of non-perishable items.
Amazon introduced Prime Pantry during its first quarter earnings call. The company noted that overall sales were up 23 percent to $19.4 billion. The new service for Amazon Prime users made for key talking points in the earnings report. "Our retail team launched Prime Pantry, a new option available only to Prime members offering exclusive access to everyday essentials in non-bulk sizes — ranging from breakfast foods and popular soft drinks, to cleaning and personal care items," said Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, in a corporate statement.
The service is available in the 48 contiguous states across the US. Prime Pantry doesn't stock bulk items, but rather every day sizes of items such as crackers, potato chips, cereal, soda, shampoo and other basics. Where the weight adds up is for certain items, such as laundry detergent or pet food, where even the average size package is incentive enough to order and have delivered right to your door.
Amazon Prime Pantry competes with the grocery store, but also retailers including Costco and Walmart, Engadget reports. There are other services, such as Instacart, that could fall prey if Prime Pantry takes off, VentureBeat reports. "The kinds of items are quite similar to the “grocery” categories Instacart carries, so Pantry, coupled with Amazon Fresh might actually help the company kill Instacart. (There were whispers last week that Instacart could be raising a huge round, so we’ll have to see how this plays out.)," wrote VentureBeat's Kia Kokalitcheva.
Services such as AmazonFresh, a home grocery delivery service available in select cities; and Amazon Dash, a scanner that helps consumers build shopping lists, work closely with Amazon Prime Pantry. Both services complement Pantry as Fresh delivers the perishable items while Dash lets users scan a barcode to add an item to the shopping list, including Prime Pantry items such as coffee or laundry detergent.
Pantry will help Amazon grow its share in the consumer package goods market, CNET reports. "The move to delivery of dry goods is expected to give Amazon a greater piece of the consumer packaged goods (CPG) market, which is estimated to be worth roughly $850 billion. While the majority of spending still occurs in brick-and-mortar stores, Amazon could firmly plant its feet in this sector as more retail continues to move online," wrote CNET's Dara Kerr.