Amazon launches Pantry Box
Amazon Pantry has been available in Germany for a few weeks now. The new service expands Amazon’s range of products significantly, further increasing pressure on the food and beverage retail industry. With its box, Amazon is responding to the increasing digitisation of stationary stores. One example is the German drugstore chain dm, which launched its own online shop a few weeks ago and has subsequently reduced many of its prices.
Although neither the Internet nor Amazon is the first port of call for consumers when it comes to the sale of everyday necessities, such as food, healthcare products and medicine, online retailing has indeed historically changed almost every other industry. To date, only the food trade has remained relatively resistant. Will Amazon manage to revolutionise this market as well?
What is Amazon Pantry?
Amazon Pantry is a new service that allows customers to conveniently ship their everyday products to their doorstep in one convenient package. To use the service, which is currently reserved exclusively for members of Amazon Prime, consumers have to pay €5 for shipping for a digital box that they can fill at will.
Prime customers can place up to a maximum of 20 kilograms or 110 litres (size of a shopping cart!) in the Pantry Box with articles of their choice from thousands of products marked with the Pantry logo. The product range includes items from areas such as durable foods, detergents, household goods, care products and pet food. The delivery of fresh food is not yet possible.
How does Amazon Pantry work?
Step 1: Discover the variety
Choose from thousands of marked products with the Amazon Pantry logo either directly in the Pantry Shop or in the general search on Amazon to select your favourite everyday items.
Step 2: Start your Amazon Pantry Box
The Amazon Pantry Box starts automatically when you place a Pantry product in your shopping cart. A Pantry Box has a maximum capacity of 20 kilograms or 110 litres, which is approximately the size of a shopping cart.
Step 3: Check the level of your Pantry Box
Each product takes up a different amount of space in your box. The amount of each product is displayed in percentage points. In order not to lose sight of the big picture, you will not only see the number of goods, but also the filling level of your Pantry Box, measured by the size and weight of the individual items.
Step 4: Buy everything you need
You can now fill your pantry box until you reach 100%. If you need more products, but the first box is already full, a new package will start automatically. Of course, you do not have to fill up your box to 100% before you buy it. You can go to the checkout at any time.
Step 5: Checkout
Do you have everything you need? Then head over to the checkout and complete your purchase in the same way you would for a regular Amazon purchase. For €4.99, your parcel will be delivered comfortably to your home.
Step 6: Receive your package conveniently at the front door
After 2-3 working days in Germany and 2-4 days in Austria, the postman should arrive at your doorstep with your parcel. If you are not at home, your package can be left at a safe place, such as the garage or the hallway, if you wish.
A glimpse into the future
Experts predict that the demand for a delivery service for fresh food, as is already available from Amazon, through “Amazon Fresh”, in the USA and Italy, will expand through Europe. Amazon has said that Amazon Pantry is soon to follow in Germany and the UK. It’s only a matter of time.
But Amazon is not alone in its attempts to digitalise the food market. By now, almost all of the industry’s retailers are experimenting with delivery services. However, according to a recent study by the Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung (GfK) only 1.2% of food and drugstore items are purchased online and experts are forecasting an online share of only 4.9% of total food retail sales by 2025. One should not be deceived by the small figures, however, because the previously mentioned figure of 1.2% represents around €2.6 billion spent by Germans on food purchases on the internet. According to GfK, drugstore and food products are likely to be one of the strongest growth drivers in online retailing. The industry looks to the future with great interest. Amazon’s entry into the market in particular will drastically change the rules of the game. With its wealth of data on customer preferences, its logistics expertise, accumulated customer confidence and market power, the online market leader is already a step ahead of many.