Amazon is dabbling in drive-up grocery stores in the Seattle area with AmazonFresh Pickup.
Amazon has a reputation for its almost absurd ability to deliver whatever you ordered in record time, by any means necessary, including but not limited to drones. But as the online retail company dabbles increasingly aggressively in the grocery space it appears they’re not always going to come to you.
AmazonFresh Pickup builds on the company’s existing home delivery grocery service and was tested with two drive-up grocery stores for Amazon employees in the Seattle area. Now those same stores open to all Prime subscribers in the area.
The system is pretty simple, according to The Verge. Place an order online, select a two-hour pickup window, then just drive over and retrieve your groceries. If you choose to also subscribe to AmazonFresh, you can have your groceries within 15 minutes.
The Seattle Times reports that Amazon will also use your license plate to speed up the process:
At pickup time, the driver pulls into a space next to the AmazonFresh facility, where a license-plate reader automatically identifies the customer and signals Amazon that it’s time to bring the order out. The first time a customer drives in, a concierge takes the name and license-plate number to enter it in Amazon’s system. This type of automatic license-plate check-in can be turned off on Amazon’s website.
Rather shockingly, AmazonFresh, which costs $14.99 a month, has been around for a decade. That alone reflects that it hasn’t been the most successful of ventures and explains why Amazon has begun to adopt different tactics to snag grocery shoppers.
Amazon’s end goal in the grocery game still appears to be a totally human-less or at least cashier-less grocery store called Go. The program, which is still being tested with employees in Seattle, is apparently running into technical problems.