Amazon dominates the headlines again as it announces that the company will discontinue its Prime Now fast delivery service through the Prime Now app and website by year end. Online shoppers who want fast delivery can order those items through the Amazon app or directly at Amazon.com without going through the Prime Now app. Some items such as household essentials and grocery delivery will still be available for two-hour delivery, but not through Prime Now. This change applies to third-party sellers and local stores that sold items on the Prime Now app and website too.
“To make this experience even more seamless for customers, we are moving the experience from a separate Prime Now app onto the Amazon app and website so customers can shop all Amazon has to offer from one convenient location,” said Stephenie Landry, vice president of grocery at Amazon said. “Whether it's two-hour delivery from Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods Market, or one of our local stores like Bartell's in Seattle, Morrisons in Leeds, or Monoprix in Paris, Prime members will find what they need alongside the millions of items available on Amazon.”
Already shuttered in India, Japan, Singapore
According to the company’s announcement, Amazon has already shut down the Prime Now app and website in India, Japan and Singapore, and users of the app get a pop-up message that directs shoppers to go to the Amazon app or website for their shopping needs.
“Globally, we'll move our third-party partners and local stores to the Amazon shopping experience before the Prime Now app and website are retired later this year. Feedback from customers who have shopped two-hour delivery on Amazon has been overwhelmingly positive, and it's a natural next step to simplify the ultrafast delivery experience globally,” Landry added.
Advantages to consolidated shopping experience
Landry also said that customers can expect the following when shopping on Amazon:
Understand what you need to master to be successful at your subscription business.
- A single app for shopping, order tracking and contacting customer service
- “The same ultrafast delivery” on essentials as well as gifts, toys, high quality groceries and more
- A seamless shopping experience, including the ability to add items from Alexa shopping lists to Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market orders (in the U.S. only)
Amazon launched Prime Now in 2014 as a way for Prime members to get items delivered quickly including everything from household good and office supplies to books and toys. The service is currently available in more than 5,000 cities and towns.
Prime Pantry shuttered in January
In January, Amazon announced it planned to permanently shutter its Prime Pantry service, a delivery service for groceries and household essentials. This service also launched in 2014. It sold pantry items like snacks, cleaning products, beverages and breakfast foods in bulk. Pricing included a $5 a month fee to access Prime Pantry. The service was paused last year because, during the pandemic, Amazon couldn’t keep up with the high demand of consumer orders. Instead, Amazon encouraged its members to shop through Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods Market or the online Amazon marketplace.
Amazon is certainly hogging the headlines this last week with an antitrust lawsuit from the attorney general of the District of Columbia, the $8.45 billion acquisition of MGM, and now this. Amazon knows what it is good at and the company has a talent for figuring out what works and what is profitable. They try different innovations and services and give them a chance to succeed and, if they don’t, Amazon is not afraid to cut the cord. They test, tweak and repeat, a good process for any subscription or membership company to follow. The pandemic and how the company handled it, for better or worse, likely influenced its decision to shutter certain services. They learned where their strengths truly lie and where they could improve.