Yesterday we announced the launch of Amazon Pantry and I placed an order to test the service.
Delivery was estimated to be Wednesday, but by this morning I’d received a notification that it would be delivered today (Tuesday) and sure enough it turned up at lunch time.
Carriage at £2.99 (plus 99p for each additional box) is very competitive and hardly covers the cost of the packaging, let alone a realistic delivery charge. Amazon must be making a loss on this, although as Amazon Pantry is only available with a Prime subscription, perhaps not as much as might appear at first glance.
Having removed the packing filler, there’s plenty of spare space and inner card dividers to make sure the heavy products didn’t mash my crisps to a pulp.
My first impression is that more could have been crammed into the box, but what we don’t know is Amazon’s algorithm and how they measure product volume and also if there’s a maximum weight consideration.
Would I use Amazon Pantry again? Yes I think I probably will. The prices are keen when compared to supermarkets, delivery is reasonable and frankly I’m fed up with walking to town and dragging the cat food home.
I’ll probably order heavy bulky items once every six weeks or so and carry on using the local shops for bread, milk, fruit and the products (like Stella and Smirnoff) that aren’t available from Amazon.
The people that should be worried are the supermarkets themselves. Every product ordered from Amazon is one less ordered from Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Waitrose. The supermarkets are already seeing shrinking sales with marketshare being won by Lidl and Aldi and that’s with the newer competition often marketing unfamiliar brands. With Amazon stocking mainstream brands, pretty much the only differentiator the supermarkets have left is fresh produce, greater range, timed home deliveries and local convenience stores for immediate sales.
Fresh produce is a double edged sword; Amazon aren’t stocking products with an expiry date any time soon, so wastage should be minimal. Yes the Supermarkets still have the larger range of products but for bulky heavy goods timed deliveries and convenience are two benefits shoppers may well be willing to sacrifice in favour of price. I know I am.