Amazon has expanded its unique In-Garage Grocery Delivery service to the 5,000 cities where its existing grocery delivery service is already available.
For the uninitiated, Amazon customers with a smart garage opener can choose this new delivery option instead of the typical front-door delivery. Delivery drivers open the garage, place the groceries inside and the customer is alerted that their food has arrived. The company said it’s about convenience, but also avoiding some of the common issues with grocery delivery.
“As customers look for more convenience in their daily lives, we’re excited to deliver another service that not only helps them save time, but provides peace of mind knowing that tonight’s dinner is safe in their garage and out of the weather,” said Pete Gerstberger, head of Key by Amazon, the division that also delivers packages to garages.
The service originally launched in November of 2020 with five pilot cities and expanded to 4,000 cities later that year. It also builds on the Amazon ecosystem of devices, as customers can watch the delivery on their Ring security cameras.
Why anyone would be eager to watch a delivery driver put grocery bags in their garage is a head scratcher, but further network benefits for Amazon are clear. This is a service that can’t, so far, be easily replicated by other grocery delivery firms like Instacart, Shipt or even Walmart. There’s also the obvious tie-in with Whole Foods as a wholly owned subsidiary of Amazon providing the groceries for delivery.
While the latest expansion to all available grocery-delivery markets is not surprising, it’s yet another sign that Amazon is serious about competing in the grocery delivery market and leaning on every bell and whistle it can to increase market share as the segment continues to expand.
Amazon pointed to a recent survey it commissioned showing how much grocery delivery grew in the last year and how likely that channel is to stick around beyond the pandemic.
“In a recent survey by Morning Consult commissioned by Amazon, nearly 70 percent of Americans report that grocery delivery is beneficial when they don’t have time for a trip to the grocery store. Of the 54 percent of Americans who highlighted convenience as the most important benefit of grocery delivery, 77 percent reported saving time as a beneficial advantage,” according to an Amazon release announcing the expansion.