AmazonFresh is a subsidiary of the Amazon.com American e-commerce company in Seattle, Washington. It is reviving the business model of ordering groceries online for home delivery first popularized by such companies as HomeGrocer.com and Webvan in the late '90s.
AmazonFresh initially offered home grocery delivery to residents of the Seattle suburb of Mercer Island in an invitation-only beta-test beginning in August 2007. It has since expanded out to a number of Seattle-area zip codes, including the suburbs of Kirkland and Bellevue.
AmazonFresh offers grocery items for sale, as well as a subset of items from the main Amazon.com storefront. Items ordered through AmazonFresh are available for home delivery on the same day or the next day, depending on the time of the order, and the availability of trucks. Examples of grocery items for sale are wine, pumpkin pie, and pre-cooked turkeys.
Amazon is expanding its latest brick-and-mortar retail experiment beyond an internal employee beta today, letting Amazon Prime members order groceries online for pickup during designated windows at two locations in the company’s hometown.
The broader launch of the AmazonFresh Pickup service, in Seattle’s Ballard and SoDo neighborhoods, also brings new details about how the pickup process works. Amazon says in an online FAQ that it “may use license plates to automatically recognize your vehicle when you arrive,” helping the company quickly match arriving customers with their orders. Customers can opt-out of automatic check-in from their settings.