Amazon makes good on its unwelcome follow-up about its grocery delivery service AmazonFresh, now yearly charging $299 to shoppers in New York, Philadelphia and Seattle. As a result, customers are saying that they will take their business elsewhere.
The free grocery delivery service started in 2007 in Seattle, Amazon's hometown, and it expanded the service to other cities over the years. In December 2014, Amazon announced that they will eventually implement the annual fee, but the firm delayed it from June to September and experimented with a subscription model in California first, where it allowed Amazon Prime members there to use the service with a delivery charge.
These setbacks caused people to speculate that the retail company was rethinking of pushing the annual fee through.
The higher-level subscription offers the benefits of Amazon Prime as well, which costs $99 yearly. For frequent shoppers, this could be acceptable, but for once-in-a-blue-moon customers, this could prove to be a bit too expensive.
"Prime Fresh members also receive all the benefits of Amazon Prime including free Two-Day Shipping for eligible purchases, unlimited access to stream movies and TV shows in Prime Instant Video, Prime Music, and the ability to borrow books from the Kindle Owners' Lending Library," Amazon posted on its customer service page.
Compared to similar services, Amazon's is a little too much, including its higher threshold of $50 for free delivery. Take Google Express for example. The Google delivery service only charges $95 a year or $10 per month without a delivery fee on eligible orders when store minimums are met. Another contender is Instacard, which charges $99 annually for Instacart Express membership to offer free delivery on orders over $35. The company also delivers to non-members, but it charges a delivery fee to them.
It seems that the free period of AmazonFresh was the amount of time that Amazon needed to evaluate the business of grocery delivery. But the retail company may have taken way too long to fully figure things out, as its customers are saying a resounding no to the fee.