Does Amazon’s expansion mean cyber-groceries are here to stay?June 30, 2013 by Lindsay
Amazon recently announced an expansion of its online grocery delivery service. Formerly available only in Seattle, it’s now expanding to Los Angeles. Basically, the company is offering customers same-day and early-morning delivery on more than 500,000 products, such as apples, bread, and even mozzarella di bufala from variety of stores. In short they’re not only competing against local stores, but also other grocery delivery services, including stores with their own delivery service as well as regional services like Peapod and FreshDirect. So while cyber-groceries aren’t new, when Amazon moves into a market it’s time to take a second look and wonder if this move signals a growing trend.
To date, consumers have remained lukewarm about food delivery. There are several pros – it’s certainly convenient (albeit at a cost), reduces impulse buying, and frees up personal time. But many people don’t feel comfortable letting others choose their food for them – especially fresh produce and meats.
And that doesn’t seem to be changing. In a recent poll taken by Epicurious, 44% said they would always shop locally, and an additional 42% said, “Online shopping’s good if you live far from the store, but I prefer going to the supermarket and examining what I’m buying.” So only about 14% were open to online grocery shopping. We also note that Wal-Mart took a look at the industry and opted to stay out.
It will be interesting to watch this trend, but we’re rooting for on-hands grocery shopping to triumph. Books and clothes online, no problem; but pineapples, steaks, and chicken? Nope.
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