There's a brand new perk available to Amazon Prime members looking for an easier way to grocery shop. Launching soon: AmazonFresh Pickup, two locations in Seattle-in SoDo and Ballard-where shoppers can pre-order and reserve a time to drive in and have their car loaded up with groceries.
The program, which is in beta testing with Amazon employees, is expected to be deployed exclusively to Prime members shortly. The service is free and unlimited-and the timeframe from order to pick-up can be as little as 15 minutes, according to Amazon.com. There's also no minimum order-and you don't even have to get out of your car!
"AmazonFresh Pickup is a fast and easy way to order groceries, pick them up and be on your way in minutes," the new site touts. "Whether you're shopping for your weekly groceries or picking up a last-minute item, we have thousands of grocery items available at low prices-including high-quality meats, fresh produce, bread, dairy, household essentials and more."
Late last year, the mega retailer debuted a no-checkout supermarket in Seattle. The project, which has not yet made it out of beta testing, features "Just Walk Out" technology that uses a combination of cameras, beacons, sensors and algorithms to figure out exactly what shoppers are walking out with.
The 1,800 square foot store stocks heat-and-eat meals made on-site and by local kitchens, as well as grocery basics, including bread, milk, cheese, and chocolate. The location also sells "Amazon Meal Kits," which includes all the ingredients to cook a meal for two (think: Blue Apron or Hello Fresh).
"Our checkout-free shopping experience is made possible by the same types of technologies used in self-driving cars: computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning," the store's FAQ page explains. "Our 'Just Walk Out' technology automatically detects when products are taken from or returned to the shelves and keeps track of them in a virtual cart. When you're done shopping, you can just leave the store. Shortly, after, we'll charge your Amazon account and send you a receipt."