Amazon Prime introduces ‘Prime Pantry’
After announcing its first ever price increase for Prime members, Amazon has introduced a new service, “Prime Pantry.” Prime members can now shop for a variety of goods including soda and bottled water and have them shipping to your door in a few days.
While there is a shipping charge of $5.99 for this, you can choose from over 2,000 products and fill a four-cubic foot box with up to 45 pounds of goods. As items are ordered, a virtual “Prime Pantry “box is displayed with your items so you can track available space and fill it to capacity.
With this service, Amazon is taking aim at bulk sales companies like Costco and Sam’s Club. Instead of buying your items in bulk and being forced to find room to store the extras, you can shop for only the items you need, at a discounted rate. Many of the items Amazon has listed are very comparable, or cheaper to grocery store prices.
Prime Pantry and small businesses
With the addition of Pantry, smaller retailers may want to assess your presence, or absence, from the Amazon Marketplace. This new service is a double-edged sword: it may offer opportunities for businesses where they did not exist before; however, they may also cause problems.
If you are not currently in the Marketplace, though, you may want to think about this: the new Prime Pantry program means that non-Prime members cannot buy the “pantry” sizes. They will not be able to buy one box of Cheerios instead of ten, so, for people interested in the program, this may be one reason they decide to take the plunge into Prime membership, which also means, you will have a (hopefully) larger audience in which to offer your products.
It will be interesting to see, whether Amazon optimizes boxes so that you can get the most value for your money, or if Amazon will arrange items to take up the most amount of space, forcing you to buy an additional box. Has anyone tried this service yet? What do you think?