Amazon has just announced a price reduction for its online grocery shopping service, AmazonFresh, that will bring the subscription service down to $14.99 per month for Prime members. Effectively, this change makes adding optional grocery delivery a new perk for those who subscribe to Amazon’s annual membership program.
This is not the first time Amazon has announced new pricing for AmazonFresh. The company has toyed with reductions to make it more appealing to Prime members in the past. For example, AmazonFresh was made available for a $7.99 per delivery fee in select California markets last summer, on top of customers’ $99 per year Prime membership.
Previously, AmazonFresh was a much steeper $299 per year, though Amazon had delayed its plans to start pushing members to upgrade. (This option was still available for non-Prime members at the time of the shift to the $7.99 per delivery fee).
Now, Amazon says that unlimited grocery delivery is available to all Prime members for $14.99 per month, in the markets where AmazonFresh is live.
This includes the company’s more recent expansion into Boston, as well as other markets like Baltimore, Seattle, Northern California, Southern California, New York metro, Northern New Jersey, Philadelphia metro, parts of Virginia and Connecticut.
According to Amazon’s help site, the $14.99 per month fee will allow members to shop for groceries, everyday essentials, and other favorites from local shops and restaurants, by selecting the “Fresh Add-on” as part of their Prime Membership. From that point forward, they’ll be charged $14.99 per month during the time they maintain an active Prime subscription.
Amazon notes that customers are also eligible for the Fresh Add-on, even if they subscribe to Prime on a monthly basis ($10.99/mo). For those customers, the combined price of Prime and AmazonFresh would be $25.98 per month, but billed separately. A 30-day free trial to AmazonFresh is also available.
Once signed up, customers can order by 10 AM for same-day delivery by 6 PM, or can order by 10 PM for delivery the next morning by 6 AM. You choose a one-hour time slot to when you can receive your order in person, or a 3-hour time slot if you want your items left doorside in temperature-controlled bags.
In addition, Fresh members in select cities can shop for AmazonFresh orders directly on Amazon.com or its mobile app, by selecting the Fresh logo next to “Shop by Department” on the site. This lets them choose to schedule a delivery slot, view past purchases, manage grocery lists, and create orders right on Amazon.
Amazon has experimented with grocery delivery for years, as it tried to find the right pricing model, and make the economics work. Unlike grocery delivery rivals like Instacart, Shipt, or Peapod, for example, which have partnered with local grocers so their employees and contractors can shop their stores, Amazon had instead invested in refrigerated warehouses and inventory. This has slowed its ability to expand as quickly as others.
But Amazon is never one to count out – especially when there’s a large and growing market of consumers looking to shop online for groceries that can be tapped into.
Amazon didn’t make a formal announcement about the pricing change, beyond posting the news to its Twitter account. However, there have been recent local reports of the new pricing being in effect ahead of today. This more quiet pricing shift indicates the company may be looking to slowly add customers to AmazonFresh, rather than have a large influx join all at once.