The tech giant is coming up with creative ways to scale back on costs.
Amazon Prime offers free one and two day shipping in many instances, exclusive deals on thousands of items, access to Amazon’s popular Prime Video streaming service, deals at Whole Foods, photo and video storage access, and more.
Amazon continues to roll out new perks on a regular basis. The tech giant announced in January it would bring low cost prescription access to its e-commerce platform via Amazon RX, available at $5 per month, on top of the standard $139 Prime membership.
But as Amazon expands some of its benefits, others quietly scale down or get pricier. That’s the case with its grocery service Amazon Fresh.
Amazon Fresh Is Getting More Expensive For Members
For many people, Amazon’s grocery delivery service was a saving grace over the past several years. As covid-19 shuttered eateries and restaurants and folks hesitated to venture out, being able to skip the grocery store altogether was an appealing prospect that lingered long after the pandemic receded. The service, which offered free grocery and goods delivery to Prime members for orders over $35, isn’t going away. But it is about to get a lot more expensive.
“Orders over $150 remain free with Prime and do not incur a service fee,” the Amazon Fresh page says. “Starting February 28, delivery orders with 2-hour delivery windows from Amazon Fresh include a service fee of $3.95 for orders $100-$150, $6.95 for deliveries $50-$100, and $9.95 for deliveries under $50. Customers in some areas with delivery time flexibility of up to six hours will receive a reduction in fees. One-hour grocery pickup at Amazon Fresh stores will continue to be free for Prime members.”
The move comes as the price of groceries continues to rise for many Americans. But Amazon is seeking to cut costs where it can, reportedly toying with the idea of laying off up to 18,000 employees. CEO Andy Jassey has been on a cost cutting crusade: the company has paused its telehealth service, added a Whole Foods delivery fee and frozen hiring for the time being.
“We’re introducing a service fee on some Amazon Fresh delivery orders to help keep prices low in our online and physical grocery stores as we better cover grocery delivery costs and continue to enable offering a consistent, fast, and high-quality delivery experience,” Amazon spokesperson Lara Hendrickson told The Verge. “We will continue to offer convenient two-hour delivery windows for all orders, and customers in some areas will be able to select a longer delivery window for a reduced fee.”
In other words, if you really want your groceries fast — and you don’t have time to go get them in stores — it’s going to cost you.