The Success Of Amazon’s Click-And-Collect Grocery Stores Will Rest On Automation
Two stores in Seattle are currently in beta testing for AmazonFresh Pickup, which lets shoppers pick up their pre-ordered groceries in as little as 15 minutes
AmazonFresh Pickup is the newest of the online retailer’s attempts to enter the brick-and-mortar realm. Announced last month, two click-and-collect grocery concept stores will open in Seattle and will be free to Prime members.
Located in Seattle’s Sodo and Ballard neighborhoods, the stores are currently only open to Amazon employees, as part of beta testing, but Wolfe Research analyst Scott Mushkin, quoted in an industry news outlet SN, expects that the e-commerce giant will open as many as 30 more outlets by the end of the year.
The aim of this project is in large part aimed at bringing automated retail into the mainstream. According to a Barclays report via CNBC, warehouse and delivery automation, including the use of “robot vans” in urban markets, could be critical to helping AmazonFresh reach break-even status. That same report notes that by introducing new efficiencies and bringing in the current 45 million Prime members, AmazonFresh could generate $40 billion in total sales volume within the next 10 to 15 years.
With Amazon Go opening in beta in December, AmazonFresh Pickup is the company’s second stab at the revamping the traditional grocery model. Amazon Go concept store lets shoppers select the desired items and leave without proceeding to a physical checkout, hence significantly cutting the time spent in the store. Pickup, on the other hand, eliminates the need to enter the store entirely and simply offers dive through-like experience, with shoppers being able to pick up their pre-ordered groceries in as little as 15 minutes. Both concepts rely on the consumer to take on the “last mile” of delivery themselves, thus overcoming the cost of home deliveries which were impedimental for many “pure-play” online retailers to enter the grocery business.
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