Larry Magid: Bay Area Grocery Shopping Through Amazon?
SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — Amazon.com is reportedly getting into the grocery business in the Bay Area. The online shopping giant, which has been offering deliveries in the Seattle area, plans to expand its service to the Bay Area by the end of the year according to Reuters.
Amazon isn’t the first company to try grocery deliveries, but the question remains if there’s a market for this type of service.
Some of us may recall the inception and eventual bankruptcy during the dot-com boom and bust of a company called Webvan. It was a big public company that a lot of people lost money circa 2001.
Safeway has been delivering groceries in the Bay Area for a number of years and I think there is a market for it.
I did some research and found out that the U.K. has a market for this service and that they have about $4.6 billion in annual grocery orders online, or about $110 per person. So there are people who do shop online for groceries, but I’m not one of them.
As you probably know, I’m very bullish on online shopping, but when it comes to picking out peaches or cherries or whatever I just go the grocery store when I have a chance. Quality and convenience are sure to be two important factors. Plus, somebody’s got to be home to put the perishables away in the fridge or freezer.
I don’t know how big the market will be, but if anyone can figure it out, it’s Amazon.
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