How Amazon Fresh Works (2023)

Amazon Fresh is a grocery delivery service available to Amazon Prime members in select cities. Launched in Seattle in 2007, the service has expanded to major cities throughout the United States and select cities worldwide. Customers can choose from thousands of items, including produce, meat, seafood, snacks, and household essentials.

Key Takeaways

  • Amazon Fresh is a grocery delivery service available to Amazon Prime members in major cities throughout the United States and certain cities worldwide.
  • Members receive free two-hour grocery delivery on Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market orders that meet the minimum purchase threshold.
  • Amazon Fresh also has physical locations in which shoppers leverage Just Walk Out technology allowing people to avoid traditional check-out lines.
  • Amazon Fresh is free to eligible Prime members in the United States.
  • Fresh Direct and Instacart are two competitors of Amazon Fresh.

Understanding Amazon Fresh

Customers sign in to their Amazon Prime account or use the Fresh app to start shopping. They can choose unattended or attended delivery, and also designate a delivery time slot. With attended delivery, groceries are delivered in plastic bags and someone must be there to receive them. Unattended deliveries are dropped off at the customer's doorstep in temperature-controlled tote bags.

Individuals can also use Alexa—Amazon's cloud-based voice service—to help with their shopping. Users can verbally tell Alexa to add whatever they'd like to order to their Fresh cart. According to Amazon, the more you use Alexa to order your groceries the more helpful the system will become as it learns your preferences.

Last, customers can visit physical Amazon Fresh stores in select physical locations. The Amazon Dash Cart allows users to scan a QR code to sign in and begin shopping. Items placed in the cart are tracked, and payment is processed when you exit through the Amazon Dash Cart lane.

Amazon Fresh's Impact on Grocery Shopping

Amazon Fresh is not a new development—it was already up and running years before the COVID-19 pandemic forced people to stay home and need grocery delivery services. Since that time, many people have found it more convenient to shop for their groceries online and have them delivered.

Assistant Integration

Alexa integration enhances the shopping experience. First, customers can have the digital assistant's help in forming their list or obtaining information about products such as customer reviews. This type of technology integrates software applications with hardware devices levering the Internet of Things.

(Video) Inside the UK's first Amazon Fresh store

Alexa can save recipes and integrate ingredients into your lists. Then, as you shop for goods, you can obtain additional product information, obtain ingredient information, or have assistance findings goods in a physical store.

Grocery Lists

Historically, individuals would make static grocery lists using pen and paper. Now, you can interact with Alexa to help form your grocery list. Smart technology may also detect when you are low or out of specific goods. Then, you can interact with the Amazon app to review and go through the products, obtaining information about each good in advance of buying it.

Product Kiosks

Traditional grocery stores display large signage above each aisle to inform customers where certain products are at. At Amazon Fresh stores, customers can find Alexa kiosks located around the store to directly search for and obtain information on what aisle the goods are in. Often, grocery store retailers that do not own their own storefront must perform leasehold improvements to build out this signage.

Check-Out Process

The in-person shopping experience ends with individuals simply walking out of the store. Amazon Fresh has revolutionized the check-out process, no longer necessitating standing in long queues or interacting with another human as part of the exiting process.

Product Offering

With the acquisition of Whole Foods, Amazon Fresh now offers over 500,000 products from different brands. Ranging from organic, seasonal, and fresh goods, individuals truly can often have a one-stop shopping experience. This has revolutionized consumable shopping compared to traditional grocery stores with product quantity limitations based on the square footage of the store.

200 million

There were 200 million paying Amazon Prime members worldwide as of 2021. 153 million of these members were in the U.S. alone.

Amazon Fresh's Impact on Labor Markets

On the surface, Amazon's Just Walk Out technology will disrupt labor markets by no longer needing checkout lanes monitored by grocery store checkers. As customers simply "walk out" of the store to be billed upon their departure, Amazon Fresh store shave no need for product scanners. Customers also integrate their payment method to the Amazon app; there is no need to interact with a human to pay for the groceries.

(Video) How Does Amazon Fresh & Go Work? | Analyzing Amazon’s Cashier-less Self Checkout Stores

On the other hand, Amazon Fresh introduces a new set of employment needs. Technicians must ensure the cameras on the ceilings and weight sensors on the shelves are working appropriately. Data scientists continue to push the envelope on the analytical capabilities of Alexa. Amazon Fresh grocery delivery shifts the labor from being a checker to being a puller that delivers the goods to the customer.

Even then, as Amazon experiments with equipment, drone, and automated selection and delivery services, workers will continue to be displaced as innovated solutions will warrant new, modern roles. Just as ATM proliferation impacted the banking industry, many financial professionals still retained their jobs (even though many roles have been directly impacted).

Amazon Fresh and Prices

Amazon's primary flagship store has built a reputation for having a wide variety of household products available for cheaper prices than many of its competitors. The company strives to have Amazon Fresh have a similar business model specifically geared towards consumable, food and beverage products.

There are several ways consumers can receive favorable prices when shopping at Amazon Fresh. Consumers can earn 5% back when paying with their Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature credit card. Consumers can also decide whether or not leave an optional tip. In addition, anecdotal shopping trips that detail the items purchased are similar to other grocery stores.

Where Does Amazon Fresh Deliver?

Amazon Fresh is available to Prime members in 42 cities across eight states and Washington D.C.: California, Illinois, New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, and New Jersey. Amazon Fresh has 18 stores in California, while it has multiple locations in Seattle. Amazon Fresh is also available in cities throughout the European Union: the UK, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy.

Amazon Fresh should not be confused with the Grocery and Gourmet Foods section of Although it often carries the same or similar items, the latter represents a variety of different sellers, and buying goods on it is like any Amazon purchase. Delivery times will vary, and some vendors offer free shipping to Prime members, while others don't.

How Much Does Amazon Fresh Cost?

On Oct. 29, 2019, Amazon announced that Amazon Fresh would be free for Prime members in eligible regions of the United States. Prior to the change, Fresh cost $14.99 per month on top of the Prime membership fee.

(Video) My first day as an Amazon FRESH Driver! $41/hour BUT I finished too early 😵

In addition to eliminating the Fresh monthly membership fee in the U.S., Amazon combined the ordering sites for Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market, the grocery chain it acquired in 2017. Prime members also receive free delivery when ordering from Whole Foods.

In Germany, Prime members still have an additional monthly membership fee to use Fresh. However, in October 2019, Amazon reduced the fee for Fresh in Germany from 9.99 euros to 7.99 euros per month. For orders worth less than 40 euros, the delivery fee went from 5.99 euros to 3.99 euros. Prime members in Germany who don't want to sign up for a monthly Fresh membership can still use the service for 5.99 euros per delivery.

Amazon Go, an entirely separate Amazon business, offers fast food options with no lines and no traditional check-out processes. Amazon Go is different than Amazon Fresh and is offered only in Seattle, Chicago, San Francisco, and New York.

Amazon Fresh Competition

Amazon isn't the first company to dream up a fast grocery delivery service. Companies like Webvan and HomeGrocer started delivering food to hungry customers in the mid-1990s. While both of those companies are defunct, the demand for home delivery of groceries never truly faded. In fact, most brick-and-mortar supermarket chains, like Stop & Shop and Giant Foods, offer e-commerce and delivery services to their customers, while many other internet grocery businesses have emerged over the years.

Fresh Direct

Founded in 1999, Fresh Direct serves customers in New York City and surrounding areas, a number of counties in New Jersey, the greater Philadelphia area, Delaware, and Washington, D.C. A minimum of $30 is required for all orders. Those in the five NYC boroughs are charged a $5.99 delivery fee. Delivery fees range from $6.99 to $7.99 for people outside these areas. The service also delivers to the Jersey Shore and the Hamptons in the summer season with a $9.99 and $15.99 delivery fee respectively.


You can shop using Instacart if you live in about 5,500 cities in the United States and Canada. The company, founded in 2012, is based in San Francisco and is partnered with more than 40,000 retail and grocery stores. Personal shoppers fulfill and deliver orders within your requested time frame.

The first order is always free. You can choose to sign up for Instacart Express, which costs $99 for the full year or $9.99 a month. This option allows you to receive free delivery for orders over $35. Nonmembers pay a $3.99-minimum for orders over $35.

(Video) First Amazon Fresh Store Visit #amazonfresh

How Does Amazon Fresh Work?

Amazon Fresh works by allowing customers a modern grocery shopping experience. Grocery delivery works by submitting an order and placing a designated time frame for specific locations. In-store shopping entails placing grocery bags in your car, signing in using the Fresh QR code, and exiting through the dash cart lane.

Is Amazon Fresh Free for Prime Members?

Amazon Fresh is to all Amazon Prime members, including free same-day delivery and pick-up from local Amazon Fresh stores.

How Do I Know If Amazon Fresh Is Available?

Users can sign into their Amazon account and enter their zip code on the delivery page of Amazon Fresh within the Amazon app. The user interface will notify the user whether Amazon Fresh is eligible for the specific region.

Can Amazon Fresh Items Be Returned?

Yes, Amazon offers a refund for items purchased within the past 30 days if the customer is not satisfied with the condition of their grocery purchase. Amazon also states that should the item be damaged or unusable, Amazon will refund the product and not ask you to refund the item.

The Bottom Line

With an impressive infrastructure already established throughout America and same-day delivery available in certain markets, it seemed inevitable that Amazon would enter the grocery market. As long as Amazon Fresh has a record of good customer service and the backing of Amazon’s money, it's likely to be around for a long time.

(Video) How AmazonFresh works in the UK


How is Amazon Fresh working? ›

How does Amazon Fresh work? Basically, customers search for products, add them to their carts and purchase whatever they want. They will then have to choose a 2-hour delivery window during which an Amazon-trained shopper will pick up your items and drop them off at your doorstep.

Do you pay tip for Amazon Fresh delivery? ›

As per the Amazon Fresh tip policy, the default amount is $5, but you can change it to anything you want. You can also leave a cash tip for your driver when they deliver your order if you wish. Tips go a long way in helping drivers earn a good income, so if you're able, please consider leaving one.

Can anyone order from Amazon Fresh? ›

Do I have to be a Prime Member to shop at an Amazon Fresh store? Anyone can shop at Amazon Fresh stores. Customers can use our traditionally staffed checkouts and those customers who wish to use Just Walk Out shopping or Amazon Dash Cart will need to have an Amazon account with a linked credit or debit card.

What is the concept of an Amazon Fresh store? ›

Amazon Fresh stores are physical convenience grocery stores combining great prices, tasty food, and an easy and convenient shopping experience for customers. We created the world's most advanced shopping technology so you never have to wait in a queue, which we call Just Walk Out.

What happens if I miss my Amazon Fresh delivery? ›

If no one is at the address when delivery is attempted, we will leave the package in a secure location. If no secure location is available, or the delivery requires someone to be present, Amazon will send an e-mail to the e-mail address on file. We'll make three delivery attempts on consecutive days.

Is Amazon Fresh really free? ›

Cost. Currently, Amazon Fresh subscriptions are free for Amazon Prime members. A delivery fee is added to orders under $35 or $50, depending on where you live. There is also an additional fee for 1-hour delivery.

Do Amazon Fresh drivers know if you tip? ›

They can only see that they got tipped. So If they deliver to 5 customers in a shift, they will only know if they get tipped, but they won't know who it was. It also takes 24 to 48 hours to figure out if we got tips in the 1st place. What is "tip baiting" for food delivery drivers?

Is $5 a good tip for delivery? ›

Lifestyle and etiquette expert Elaine Swann suggests paying a $3 to $5 tip when the delivery driver arrives. "Three to five dollars is a sufficient tip," Swann says. "It doesn't necessarily need to be a percentage of the food you ordered."

Why is Amazon Fresh delivery not free? ›

With Amazon Fresh, delivery is free on orders that meet a certain threshold. Depending on the area, that'll be either a $35 or $50 minimum before tax. If you don't meet that price, you'll be charged a delivery fee of $5 to $8, depending on how fast you want your order. Some cities also have a free pickup option.

Can you shop inside an Amazon Fresh? ›

Once inside the store, customers can shop like normal. Anything they take off the shelf is automatically added to their virtual cart, and anything they put back on the shelf comes out of their virtual cart.

Is Amazon Fresh more expensive? ›

Prices on Amazon Fresh are in line with what other grocery stores charge. Certain items may be a bit more or less expensive, with milk being the one outlier that costs much more. But overall, Amazon Fresh offers competitive pricing that can help you save on groceries.

How does Amazon Fresh keep food cold? ›

Frozen foods are packed in an insulated pouch with an ice pack, while a frozen bottle of water is nestled against refrigerated items to keep them cool.

How does Amazon Fresh get their groceries? ›

What Grocery Store Does Amazon Fresh Use? Amazon owns Whole Foods, so most of the produce and other perishables for Amazon Fresh are sourced from there. Other items, such as personal and non-perishable, typically come from Amazon's warehouse locations.

Does Amazon Fresh have cashiers? ›

All have one thing in common - unlike most shops, there are no registers or cashiers. You walk in, pick out what you want, and walk out. Amazon calls it a 'just walk out' shopping experience. Here's everything you need to know, including how it works.

Is Amazon Fresh owned by Whole Foods? ›

Items ordered through Amazon Fresh are available for home delivery on the same day or the next day, depending on the time of the order and the availability of delivery slots. Amazon Fresh operates independently of Whole Foods, which is also owned by Amazon.

Can you go to Amazon Fresh without a membership? ›

Amazon Fresh is open to all customers.

Do Amazon Fresh deliver at night? ›

One such example is Amazon Fresh, a new delivery service that allows Amazon Prime members to order groceries that Amazon delivers to their homes. With the Amazon Fresh program, you can expect delivery between 8 AM and 8 PM. You'll be able to select from a series of two-hour delivery windows.

Is Amazon Fresh as cheap as Walmart? ›

They even have similar costs; Walmart Plus is $98 per year and Amazon Prime is $119 per year.
Walmart Plus GroceryAmazon Fresh
13-Gallon Trash Bags (80 ct.)$10.47$10.45
4 more rows
26 Mar 2021

Why is there a service fee for Amazon Fresh? ›

Amazon asserted that the service fee helps cover operating costs, including equipment, technology and other costs associated with grocery delivery orders. Amazon Fresh two-hour delivery and one-hour pickup remain free for Prime members on orders over $35.

Are Amazon Fresh delivery drivers employees? ›

It's simple: you're an independent contractor. You use your own vehicle to deliver packages for Amazon as a way of earning extra money to move you closer to your goals.

How much do you tip for 2022 grocery delivery? ›

It's important to keep that in mind each time you place grocery delivery orders. If you want to show your appreciation for a job well done, you should leave at least 10-15% on your order.

How much should I tip for a $20 meal? ›

In the U.S., a tip of 15% of the before tax meal price is typically expected.

How much do you tip for $40 pizza delivery? ›

How much to tip pizza delivery? The general rule in all instances is that you should tip between 10 % and 20 % of the total value of the bill.

How much do you tip for a $20 pizza delivery? ›

Generally speaking, delivery orders that are less than $20 are given a minimum tip of $3. If the order is over $20, then it's customary to calculate a tip that is 10%-15% of the order (but never less than $5).

What is Amazon Fresh minimum order? ›

Luckily for Amazon Prime members, Amazon Fresh is free with your subscription. For SNAP EBT benefits users that don't have a Prime membership, Amazon allows you to shop without Prime membership fees. You'll still need to meet the $35 minimum ($50 minimum in select regions) for free delivery.

Do you need your own bags at Amazon Fresh? ›

Dash in, get a Dash Cart

Two paper bags are placed inside the cart, however more are available if the shopper needs them.

Is it worth it to use Amazon Fresh? ›

Amazon Fresh is worth it if you're already a Prime member and want to save time on grocery shopping. It's certainly a solid reason to join Prime if you've been on the fence for a while. It's great for convenient and reliable grocery delivery, especially for orders over $35 that qualify for free shipping.

Why does Amazon Fresh use so many bags? ›

The bags belong to Amazon. They are used by Amazon drivers — drivers subcontracted for Amazon through its Delivery Service Partner program as well as drivers in the Amazon Flex program who make deliveries with their own cars — to sort and store the hundreds of packages they're on the hook for delivering each day.

Does Amazon Fresh use paper bags? ›

Amazon announced the new packaging in November for Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods grocery deliveries, after extensive testing and experimentation with different approaches. Designed to replace plastic liners and bubble bags, it's made from recycled paper, and the company says it can be recycled in curbside bins.

What do I do with Amazon Fresh bags? ›

Since they're paper, Amazon's Prime Now and Fresh Paper Bags are recyclable through most curbside recycling programs.

How many hours is full time for Amazon Fresh? ›

Amazon Fresh Produce Associate

Type: Full-time (30-40 hours/week) and Part-time (20-29 hours/week). Must be able to lift up to 49 lbs.

Does Amazon Fresh do paid training? ›

Even without previous technical experience, our apprentices will gain valuable skills through a paid training course coupled with on-the-job training to best prepare them for careers at Amazon.

What is the difference between Instacart and Amazon Fresh? ›

Much like other grocery stores, Amazon Fresh also produces proprietary items like its Fresh brand meal kits, produce, and baked goods. In short, Amazon Fresh is effectively a virtual grocery store in its own right, while Instacart is a service that allows you to order online from existing physical grocery stores.

Are Amazon Fresh stores successful? ›

According to Helbling, the Amazon Fresh experiment has been a big success so far. “Our efforts to evolve our grocery experience into a seamless omnichannel offering have been well received by customers — and the industry,” he says.

What is the difference between Amazon go and Amazon Fresh? ›

To that end, Amazon is rapidly building out its own grocery "brands": Amazon Fresh and Amazon Go. "Fresh" stores are full-sized groceries; "Go" is a chain of convenience stores (or "c-stores").

Do Amazon Fresh workers get paid? ›

DESCRIPTION. Pay starts at $15.00 per hour with benefits available. seamless grocery shopping experience, whether customers are shopping in store or online.

How much do Amazon Fresh shoppers make? ›

How much does a Store Shopper make at in the United States? Average Store Shopper hourly pay in the United States is approximately $15.08, which is 25% below the national average.

How many hours is full-time for Amazon Fresh? ›

Amazon Fresh Produce Associate

Type: Full-time (30-40 hours/week) and Part-time (20-29 hours/week). Must be able to lift up to 49 lbs.

How many breaks do you get at Amazon Fresh? ›

Critics also say the policy flies in the face of assurances from Amazon that warehouse workers can take bathroom breaks outside of their allotted 30-minute lunch and two 15-minute breaks in each 10-hour shift.

Does Amazon Fresh pay weekly? ›

Full-time workers will receive their salary every month. Part-time workers will receive their salary every other week of the month (paid biweekly). Inters and temporary employees will be paid weekly.

How does Amazon Fresh keep groceries cold? ›

Frozen foods are packed in an insulated pouch with an ice pack, while a frozen bottle of water is nestled against refrigerated items to keep them cool.

Is Amazon Fresh delivered in bags? ›

Understanding Amazon Fresh

1 With attended delivery, groceries are delivered in plastic bags and someone must be there to receive them. Unattended deliveries are dropped off at the customer's doorstep in temperature-controlled tote bags.

How expensive is Amazon Fresh? ›

How Much Does Amazon Fresh Cost? To start, you'll need an Amazon Prime membership to access Amazon Fresh, which costs $12.99 a month or $119 per year.

How often do Amazon Fresh workers get paid? ›

Amazon workers are usually paid on a weekly basis. This is the most common and preferable way among the workers to take their salary. You'll get your weekly paycheck by Friday in the weekly payment option, though it may take one or two days longer, depending on the bank.

What is base pay for an Amazon Fresh driver? ›

Delivery Driver Amazonfresh Salaries
Job TitleSalary
Amazon Delivery Driver AmazonFresh salaries - 6 salaries reported$23/hr

How many people work for Amazon Fresh? ›

and was recently named by LinkedIn as the No. 1 company where Americans want to work and develop their careers—the company promoted more than 68,000 employees in 2020 alone.


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