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Amazon Exec Says Restaurant Ordering About Boosting Daily Engagement With Prime

Amazon, GrubHub, restaurants, delivery, food and beverages

As Amazon looks to make its Prime membership increasingly indispensable to customers’ day-to-day lives, the eCommerce giant’s new partnership with Grubhub aims to drive more frequent engagement with the subscription’s offerings.

On Thursday (May 30), Amazon announced the expansion of its partnership with Grubhub. In an interview with PYMNTS, Jamil Ghani, vice president of Amazon Prime, spoke to how the collaboration, which enables consumers across the U.S. to order from hundreds of thousands of Grubhub restaurants directly on and the Amazon Shopping app, will boost customer frequency.

“[Consumers] will be able to find this in [our] search which is, obviously, a key part of our shopping experience, but also be able to find it through the Prime ingresses, grocery ingresses and marketing placements that we have throughout the site,” Ghani said. “And so, we’re just trying to make it really simple for our members to not only find out about what value they have in their Prime membership, but also to actually benefit from it on monthly, weekly, daily basis — however it fits into their busy lives.”

Notably, consumers cannot build one unified cart with both their restaurant order and their typical Amazon purchase. Ghani explained that the restaurant ordering platform operates as “an integrated store within the app,” one that functions as a “popover” powered by Grubhub.

In addition to adding Grubhub ordering through Amazon’s digital platforms, the expanded partnership also changes Amazon’s offer of free Grubhub+ restaurant delivery subscriptions, formerly a limited-time benefit, for Prime members to be a permanent perk.

The launch of the experience within Amazon’s shopping app and site aims at “closing that loop from discovering [the Grubhub benefit], redeeming the offer and then going and placing that that first and hopefully ongoing orders,” Ghani said.

Amazon’s move to add restaurant ordering comes as eCommerce marketplaces are increasingly look to meet more of consumers’ daily needs through their own platforms, taking steps toward becoming a super app. Instacart, too, recently made moves to capture restaurant customers’ engagement, adding a “Restaurants” tab operated via its partnership with Uber Eats.

There is significant interest in this kind of ordering experience. The PYMNTS Intelligence study  “Consumer Interest in an Everyday App,” created in collaboration with PayPal and drawing from a survey of more than 3,300 U.S. consumers, found that 35% expressed a strong desire for an everyday app. Of these, nearly two-thirds would want to be able to make purchases from restaurants.

Thursday’s news comes roughly a month after Amazon announced a new grocery delivery subscription for Prime Members, which enables delivery both from Amazon’s grocery banners and from other grocers, convenience retailers and pharmacies.

Ghani argued that, given the extent of consumers’ different meal needs and the day-of way that shoppers often make their food decisions, Amazon’s offerings are the best able to fulfill the wide range of eating occasions.

“We think choice is really important,” Ghani said. “Food is a very personal thing, and we think the combination of Whole Foods, Fresh, these other grocery brands, now Grubhub food delivery directly in the shopping app — it’s the best omnichannel solution for what are really diverse needs.”