Amazon’s got another brick-and-mortar grocery play in the works outside of the recently delayed Amazon Go.
The online retail giant announced that AmazonFresh is getting a physical pickup option, starting with two brick-and-mortar locations in Seattle, Washington. For now, the AmazonFresh Pickup locations are in beta testing and open exclusively to Amazon employees.
Once open to the public, customers can order groceries online and retrieve them up from pickup locations. In a promotional video, the customer experience looks somewhat similar to a classic drive-up ATM set up — except instead of pulling up to withdraw cash, customers have their pre-placed orders brought out to their cars by Amazon employees.
Amazon wrote on its website that orders can be ready in as little as 15 minutes after an AmazonFresh customer places it. The service is free for Amazon Prime members exclusively. As of now, Amazon has not pegged a definite date for when AmazonFresh Pickup will open to the public.
This latest announcement is a bit of good grocery news after reports indicated that the highly anticipated public opening of Amazon Go had been delayed due to technical difficulties with its “Just Walk Out” system.
During employee beta testing that began in December of last year, Amazon’s system for monitoring and tracking customer item selection reportedly ran into trouble keeping tabs on items once they had been moved from their shelf when more than 20 people were in the store at one time.
But while Amazon Go relies heavily on the success of new processes and technologies, AmazonFresh Pickup appears to leverage the order fulfilling and logistics methodologies Amazon already has down. (Along with relying more on in-store personnel to make everything run smoothly).
The risk of a repeat of the Amazon Go delay is slim in this case, meaning shoppers won’t have to wait much longer to try out at least one of the online retail giant’s brick-and-mortar grocery projects.