Everything you need to know about Amazon Fresh before you subscribe

I am a new mother, and am looking for constructive ways to save time so I may focus more on my baby.  I am also a food lover and never like to be without a cornucopia of fresh produce and healthy foods in my fridge and pantry. So I signed up for Amazon Fresh and have been ordering on a weekly basis for almost 2 months. Here is my honest and unbiased opinion.

What is Amazon Fresh?

amazon-fresh

In a nutshell Amazon Fresh is a new service offered by Amazon that provides a variety of fresh vegetables, beverages, organic and non organic produce and some prepared foods. They even offer some local market produce. The best part about Amazon Fresh is its ease of shopping online and next day delivery. It can be an ideal option for busy Executives or for people who are invalid or have recently gone through a surgery and find running to the grocery either too time-tasking or physically inconvenient.

With that said Amazon Fresh looks to me at best like “work in progress”. Amazon has not done such a great job of designing their Amazon Fresh menu as the rest of its website (read on for further clarification). Also the variety of produce available is not nearly as satisfactory as you would expect if you are a food lover.

Also at an additional $299/= cost per year with only one month trial membership Amazon Fresh is definitely no steal. So it may behoove you to know exactly the pros and cons of this service before you sign up.

Prices:

Prices of produce is on par with most local grocers and because it is easier to compare fruits and vegetables by cost you may even end up saving some $$$.

Coupons: Since Amazon is constantly improving their Amazon Fresh service, I recently noticed a few items had coupons available. Whenever an item has a coupon available they make it simple enough to apply it by simply clicking a button. However these items are few and far in between. If they can increase the line of products with coupons that will be a huge selling point for them.

Selection:

Overall selection of produce is what I will ding them most for. Even though they have enough products to fill your fridge and immediate needs, it is not nearly as abundant as what you will find at your local Ralph’s or rich as Farmers Market.

Delivery:

Like I said the convenience of next day door to door delivery was my main driving force towards choosing Fresh. Here are some pros and cons about Fresh delivery.

Pros: You basically make an order and they deliver it to you at the time slot you picked. I chose the non attended service so they just leave the totes outside my house. So far they have always delivered within the time slot I have chosen. The packaging is pretty solid. Fresh vegetables do not wilt because they add plenty of coolers and they come in sturdy green totes. Each tote has a disposable bag so there is no danger for contamination caused by reusable totes.

Cons: The annoying thing was that you have to store these big green totes until the next order which I make no sooner than 7-10 days. That means I have 5-7 large totes sitting outside my house at all times. Also I am worried of them getting stolen. This is a huge annoyance to me as I don’t think green totes outside adds to the general ambiance 😦

I called up Customer service to see if they can pick the totes right after delivery and they told me I would have to call up to schedule a tote pick up. I think having to call for a tote pick up every time is inconvenient, while having the totes lying around for a week is equally undesirable.

Also the way they package food items sucks sometimes. For instance you will have one tote with practically 1 item and another with 10 or more rendering a few items at the bottom of the tote to get damaged. For instance I ordered yogurt and cookies but they put them under the bottom of the tote and added cantaloupes and pineapples on top. Yogurt packages got squished and cookies were crumbled when I opened the packet. No biggie but worth a mention.

User Interface:

Pros: What I really like is that produce is nicely categorized under headings such as Produce, Perishables, Grocery, Household goods with many sub categories underneath to make searches easy. Searching for items under sub categories has a simple carousal style user interface.

Cons: Overall, Fresh menu is not as user friendly as the rest of Amazon website. I get the feeling that they did not take their time designing this feature. For instance there is no easy way to go back to old orders and reuse all or part of the old order(s). 

The menu item “Past purchases” allows you too see your recent purchases but you have to individually add each item to the cart!!! I find it annoying to have to place a fresh order every time. They have also added the option to create grocery list but that is additional work. Why can’t I turn an old order into my grocery list and then use the entire list over and over again while making needed edits each time? I called Customer service and gave them my suggestion, but beyond a polite apology they did not seem to care.

Secondly, the problem with the carousal is for produce like onions, they show one onion on the carousel. So if you want to buy a dozen onions you will have to click the “Add to Fresh Cart” button a dozen times. That’s dumb. They do have another variety of onions available in a bag if you scroll through the carousal but you have to know to scroll for it. Why not have an easy option to add multiple onions within the carousal itself?

captureonioncarousal

Thirdly, Category items are not intuitively named. For instance if I need Goat’s milk, I would expect to find it under Beverages. But clicking Beverages brings me to Coffee, Tea, Water, Soft Drinks, Sports drinks, Juices, Coconut water (should this be a separate category?) and powdered mixes but no milk. You can still find it by searching in the Search bar but why not have a separate category for something as basic as Milk especially since they have a category for coconut water! Needless to say this is just an example. Overall they may need to create more intuitive categories and sub categories to make searching on Fresh products easier.

So in the end at an additional cost of $299/= an year it is up to you to decide whether Amazon floats your boat or not. For me it was the convenience. It may be worthwhile to know that Amazon Prime Fresh members get the benefits of both Amazon Prime and Amazon Fresh for an annual membership fee of $299.

With that said I will not extend my membership next year, since nothing beats the joy of being able to hold and smell your produce before buying it. On the other hand the convenience of ordering online and having your groceries sent to your door may be worth the extra $$$ for you. If you have used Amazon Fresh let me have your thoughts and let me know if you found my review helpful?

So it is 10/19/2016 about 18 days after I published this post. I wanted to do an update on Amazon Fresh. It seems Amazon is growing so fast it is unable to sustain its growth. The last two orders I made via Fresh were never sent to me at all. I called up Customer Service and they rescheduled it for me. Alas the orders were never sent even at the rescheduled time. After waiting 3 days for my order, I called up customer service to request for a refund as I am very unhappy with their service. I must say, Amazon has great Customer Service. Their agents are not just helpful but very personable and appear very happy. The Customer service person agreed to refund my money in full even though I would have been happy with a partial refund.

So long story short, Amazon Fresh did not work for me at all. I will continue being an Amazon Prime member but Fresh has a long way to go. The quality and variety of produce available is weak,  and service is undependable. Bye, Bye Amazon Fresh.

Posted by

I am an IT (Information Technology) professional with diverse range of interests. Writing and poetry is my passion as is the pursuit for happiness and continuous self improvement...

One thought on “Everything you need to know about Amazon Fresh before you subscribe

  1. Agreed. I love the convenience of it being delivered. Whenever I had an issue, customer service was always willing to fix it or give partial to full refund on the item.

    The problem I was having was not being able to order the “fresh” items like fruits and vegetables. Sometimes they would get to me already rotten or close to being rotten. I like to meal plan for the week and I was constantly having to use the fresh produce right away before it went bad. The times they offered were also inconvenient for me. I was only home between 7-10 and 1-3 (I think those were the times) on Saturdays and Sundays (maybe the times are just for my area?). So if I forgot to order on Thursday or Friday I would have to go out to get groceries anyway – or suffer cold items going bad.

    I like your honest review. Sadly I agree I think Amazon needs to work out all the kinks before I would come back.

So cute of you to drop me a line

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s