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Now, Amazon woos shoppers with 30-minute grocery pickup

After ramping up its grocery offerings through the acquisition of Whole Foods last year, Amazon (AMZN) has been striving hard to change the way American households purchase groceries. Basking in the success of Prime Day sales, the e-commerce giant is currently rolling out a new facility that allows shoppers to collect goods without having to step out of their vehicles.

By joining the likes of Walmart (WMT) and Kroger (KR), who have already introduced curbside pickup and are expanding the service rapidly, Amazon is aggressively tapping into America’s multi-billion dollar grocery market. Though it caters to a small portion of customers, Whole Foods has been increasing its market share steadily after joining the Amazon fold, by offering heavy discounts and enhancing customer experience.

The new facility allows shoppers to collect purchases without having to step out of their vehicles

The curbside pickup facility is expected to lure more customers into signing up as Prime members in the coming days, while also retaining the existing members. Currently limited to Whole Foods stores in Sacramento and Virginia Beach, the service will be extended to Amazon Prime members across the country in a phased manner. However, the retailer is likely to wait for customer feedback before expanding it more stores so as to ensure efficiency and make the process flawless.

All that customers need to do is place orders using the Prime Now app, and Whole Foods attendants will load the groceries into their cars while visiting the store. Each customer will be allocated a designated parking space at the store. It is the latest among the many exclusive perks the company has introduced for Prime members in recent months to broaden the membership base and attract more footfalls in stores.

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The company claims that those who choose the fast pickup option will have their items delivered in about 30 minutes. While the quick delivery comes with a price tag of about $5, the one-hour pickup service will be free for orders of $35 and above. However, that will still cost the customer about $2 if the value of the purchase is less.

Amazon shares closed the last trading session slightly higher but pared the gains in early trading Wednesday.

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