Grocery Delivery Business Software

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Amazon Business, the retailer’s free program for business customers offering fast shipping, discounts and purchase approvals, is now expanding to include grocery delivery from AmazonFresh. That means businesses can stock their employee break rooms with fresh goods, like produce, plus groceries and other items from local stores.The news was first announced in an email to Business customers on Wednesday, which was spotted by GeekWire.

We’ve since confirmed this is a new addition to the Business program, though it’s essentially the same experience that’s available to consumer customers. Like the consumer version of the AmazonFresh service, Amazon Business customers will need to have a Prime membership to take advantage of grocery delivery. Prime costs $99 per year, while AmazonFresh is sold as a $14.99 monthly subscription added on top of Prime.

Business customers can link their individual Prime accounts to their Amazon Business accounts, which will be required to place AmazonFresh orders. AmazonFresh’s expansion to support Business customers could boost adoption for Amazon’s grocery delivery subscription offering — a service that operates in an increasingly competitive market, among others like Instacart, Shipt and more. Amazon said in July it had grown its Amazon Business user base to more than 1 million customers across the U.

S., meaning businesses that had signed up for its service. However, unlike the competition, AmazonFresh is not yet available across the U.S. Today, AmazonFresh serves Seattle, New York, Philadelphia, Stamford, Trenton, Boston, Baltimore, Washington, DC, Northern Virginia, Dallas, Chicago, Miami, Denver and seven regions across California (Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, San Jose and Stockton.

) Outside the U.S., AmazonFresh is available in London, Berlin and Tokyo. In addition to competitors like Instacart, Shipt and Peapod, Walmart has been moving quickly into the online grocery business, as well. Walmart now has more than 900 locations offering grocery pickup, a figure that’s up from 600 locations last year, and up from 100 stores just two years ago. It also just expanded its grocery delivery tests in partnership with Uber, and announced that it will work with Google to enable voice-based grocery orders starting next year.

Amazon, meanwhile, has been working to make its grocery delivery service more appealing, by dropping pricing last fall to the new rate of $14.99 per month, and, most recently, debuting “AmazonFresh Pickup” — drive-up grocery stores in Seattle where your orders can be loaded directly into your car. The company declined to share the number of AmazonFresh subscribers it has today. Given Amazon’s massive acquisition of Whole Foods, the industry is now watching the retailer’s moves in grocery delivery more carefully, as it no longer seems that Amazon is treating AmazonFresh as an “experiment,” but is strategically moving into this vertical.

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Amazon is expanding its AmazonFresh grocery delivery arm to business customers. The tech giant sent an email to Amazon Business customers Wednesday morning, notifying them of the new service. “Start shopping Fresh for your everyday office grocery items today,” the email reads. The service is identical to what individual customers of AmazonFresh receive, which includes access to produce and groceries from Amazon and other local shops with same or next-day delivery.

Amazon’s grocery delivery service requires both a $99/year Prime membership, as well as an additional $15 per month for an Amazon Prime Fresh Add-on membership. Amazon Business is a free program, but users will need to have both a Prime membership and the add-on subscription to have groceries delivered to their office. Amazon lets customers extend a personal Prime membership to a business account.

Amazon Business users get access to business-only pricing on millions of items and quantity discounts, in addition to purchasing analytics and corporate purchasing options. The opening of Amazon Fresh Pickup in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood shows just how serious Amazon is about the grocery business.(GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota) There are several other companies that target office food delivery, ranging from lunch delivery startups like Peach, to corporate accounts on Seamless, to grocery delivery services from companies like Instacart or Safeway.

This is the latest sign of Amazon’s continued expansion in the grocery industry, which originally started a decade ago with AmazonFresh grocery delivery in Seattle. Earlier this year the company opened two AmazonFresh Pickup locations that allow Amazon Prime members to pick up groceries that they’ve ordered online. It is also set to acquire Whole Foods; the $13.7 billion deal was approved by Whole Foods shareholders this morning.

Amazon is also testing Amazon Go, a cashier-free convenience store. Some expect Amazon to out-maneuver grocery giants like Kroger, Target, and Walmart — which just announced a delivery partnership with Google — to become a top U.S. grocer by 2030. Editor’s note: This story was updated to reflect that AmazonFresh for business customers is the same as AmazonFresh for consumers. 

Felicia Watson

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