As this week has been all abuzz with talk of food, cooking, and everything Thanksgiving, it makes me happy about two things:
1) I am not cooking a big meal this year
2) Avoiding grocery stores' holiday madness using AmazonFresh
The first is obvious. I'm happy to be off the hook from cooking for people that won't appreciate it anyway to instead cook a special meal for myself. Lobster, maybe?
As for AmazonFresh, I have been happily using the grocery delivery service for a couple months now, and it's completely revolutionized the way I shop.
What is AmazonFresh?
AmazonFresh is an online grocery store founded by Amazon. As such, shopping is just as easy as it is on Amazon.com, and it works with your regular Amazon account. The concept is not a new one of course (e.g., safeway.com, the failed Webvan, Peapod, among others), but if anyone can make grocery delivery a sustainable reality, it will be Amazon, arguably one of the world's greatest retailers.
How is it shopping for groceries online? Seems like a pain.
Not at all! Above is a screenshot of the AmazonFresh homepage once logged in (click image for larger view). You'll see you have the option to shop by "aisle," or I find the fastest way to find items is by the search field near the top. In the screenshot below, you'll see that I searched for the term "eggs." After searching for an item, the next page gives you the choice to browse by the following options: (1)Aisles (similar to "department") , (2) Brands, (3) "Show only" (narrows results by only showing options that are "fat free," "gluten free," "vegetarian," etc.), (4) search for a term within results or (5), browse all results (most are pictured). Beyond that (yes, there's more!), you can sort the items by price, relevance, and if it is a new arrival.
Given the extensive options for finding an item and its easy to navigate interface, finding any item is extremely quick and easy to do.
How is it delivered?
Items are delivered as soon as the next day, or anytime you choose later than that. For orders over $25, you qualify for free "pre-dawn" delivery.
As the name indicates, these groceries are delivered extremely early (before 6am) and don't require you to answer the door. Items are packaged in crates. Cold and frozen items are packed in blue crates, which contain dry ice. Pantry items are stored dry in yellow cases. The deliveryman will leave these at your front door, and you can ask them to come back and pick them up the next day, or you can keep them until your next AmazonFresh delivery.
If your order exceeds $50, you are eligible for free daytime delivery.
Daytime delivery hours are from 7:00am to 10:00pm. What I love about this delivery option is the delivery window--you select from a one hour time slot, saving you from waiting around all afternoon (cable company, I'm looking at you). It does require you to sign for your groceries, and your items will come in paper bags (as opposed to the crates).
Finally, all orders are available for pickup at designated AmazonFresh pickup centers, though I don't have a car so I've never used this option.
Is AmazonFresh available in my area?
At this time, it appears it is still in beta and only available in the Seattle area. Boo!
Is that all?
Believe it or not, I have a lot more to write about AmazonFresh, so consider this part one. Sorry, non-Seattlites!