Whole Foods Rolls Out Amazon One as Grocers Tap Account-Linked Payments

Whole Foods Market

As grocers look to boost their data-collecting capabilities in stores, Whole Foods Market is rolling out parent company Amazon’s palm payment capabilities across all locations.

On Thursday (July 20), Amazon announced that it will roll out its Amazon One technology across the natural and organic food retailer’s more than 500 U.S. stores by the end of the year, enabling consumers to pay by palm and allowing Amazon Prime members to redeem deal account-linked savings.

“As Amazon One—Amazon Web Services’s palm recognition service for identification, payment, loyalty membership, and entry at over 400 locations across the U.S.—reaches a critical milestone with more than 3 million uses, Whole Foods Market stores are going all in,” Sanjay Dash, VP, Identity and Checkout Technologies, AWS Applications, wrote in a company blog post.

Indeed, PYMNTS research finds that consumers are more satisfied when they can use their digital profiles, according to data from the study The 2023 Global Digital Shopping Index, created in collaboration with Cybersource, for which we surveyed more than 13,000 consumers across six countries, including more than 2,800 U.S. consumers.

The study revealed that, around the world, digital profiles resulted in improved shopping experiences. In the U.S. specifically, 85% of consumers who used digital profiles reported being very or extremely satisfied with merchants’ digital shopping features, compared to just 58% of those who did not use digital profiles.

Moreover, the savings features can be key. The U.S. edition of the Index revealed that 39% of consumers considered coupon usage to be very or extremely important when choosing merchants, and an additional 3% cited this as the single most important concern when deciding where to make purchases.

Consequently, the ability to link Prime savings can be a significant draw, given how many U.S. consumers engage with the subscription offering. Data from a PYMNTS survey of nearly 3,500 U.S. consumers reveal that, as of last October, 71% of consumers had access to an Amazon Prime subscription, up from 66% the year before.

Plus, that share is even higher for the more financially well-off consumers that Whole Foods Market targets — 82% of those who make more than $100K a year reported having access to a Prime account.

“We are always looking for new ways to delight our customers and improve the shopping experience,” Leandro Balbinot, Whole Foods Market’s chief technology officer, said in a statement. “Since we’ve introduced Amazon One at Whole Foods Market stores over the past two years, we’ve seen that customers love the convenience it provides, and we’re excited to bring Amazon One to all of our customers across the U.S.”

This latest Amazon One announcement more than doubles the technology’s availability across Whole Foods stores, with the palm payment technology currently implemented at more than 200 locations.

The announcement comes as next-gen payment technologies linked to consumers’ digital accounts catch on throughout the grocery industry, providing consumers with deals-earning opportunities and merchants with the ability to gain shopper data inside physical stores. Instacart, for its part, has been rolling out its Caper Cart smart carts to more grocers in addition to its scan-and-pay features.

Through account-linked payment capabilities of these kind, grocers can learn more about what shoppers buy via brick-and-mortar channels, in turn improving their marketing and loyalty capabilities.