Amazon has completely changed the way the world shops, and yes, that includes how we buy groceries. The e-commerce juggernaut offers several food delivery services including Prime Now and AmazonFresh. In advance of Prime Day, which promises 36 hours of big sales on Monday, July 16, we break down the differences between these two programs and what they mean for consumers.
Prime Now is a service that is free for all Amazon Prime members. Prime Now offers free delivery within two hours for an array of groceries and household products, even toys, electronics, and pet supplies. And given their acquisition of Whole Foods, you can also get fresh produce, meat and dairy sent directly from those stores. For an additional fee, you can also have products delivered to your door within an hour. As amazing as this service may sound, it’s only available in a few select locations, however the list of areas that have access to this program is ever-changing. You can search for your zip code on their site to see whether or not you qualify.
While Prime Now is available to anyone with an Amazon Prime subscription, AmazonFresh is an add-on service that costs an additional fee (as of now it’s an extra $14.99 a month). AmazonFresh is exclusively focused on grocery delivery. The service allows you to schedule the delivery time that is most convenient to you. The groceries are also delivered in insulated packaging and reusable totes to help guarantee freshness. Unlike Prime Now, AmazonFresh deliveries are not free, unless your order exceeds a certain amount.
Whether or not either of these services are ideal for you depends on a lot of factors, most notably your geographic location and your budget. But even if you’re not willing to shell out the extra bucks for door-to-door delivery, Amazon Prime members are also eligible for certain discounts at Whole Foods. So even if you’re doing your grocery shopping the old-fashioned way, you can still take advantage of Amazon’s price points.
There also rumors that the two services may merge or become more interconnected in the coming months. Given recent layoffs and staff consolidation, these changes may be imminent. It’s also worth noting that Amazon ended Amazon Fresh operations in parts of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia last November, as a result of a small user base. Considering all of these rapid changes, it’s hard to say what Amazon’s role in the grocery game will be in the long-term, but one thing’s for sure, the e-commerce giant is determined to be a part of it.
Related Video: Prices at Whole Foods Are Rising Despite Amazon Acquisition, According to New Report
Header image courtesy of Shutterstock.