AmazonFresh and Prime Now are merging, and here’s what that means for the future of grocery shopping

As you’ve probably heard, Amazon acquired Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion back in August. Now, the company has moved a step closer to grocery-store domination by announcing plans to merge Amazon Prime Now (delivery in two hours or less) and AmazonFresh (its grocery delivery service). Clearly, Amazon is really getting into the online grocery game. But will all this maneuvering actually have an impact on the future of grocery shopping?

According to Sucharita Kodali, VP and principal analyst for eCommerce at Forrester Research, don’t expect much. She says that online grocery shopping is a small force in the industry — it makes up just 3% of all grocery expenditures — and it’s not likely to replace traditional stores.

"There are too many stores, too much variety in stores, and stores are too easy an experience," she says. "Online grocery is convenient for a small percent of people (i.e. moms with very young kids, people who live in dense urban areas and don't have cars) but not for most people."

However, Amazon does reportedly want to “streamline a delivery experience for Whole Foods,” meaning you may soon be able to get your kombucha and organic kale delivered to your doorstep in under two hours (Whole Foods groceries are already available for some consumers through AmazonFresh). But we’re probably not looking at a full-blown grocery revolution.

Says Kodali, “People think that the Whole Foods acquisition could be a bigger deal, but I don’t see anything that compelling just yet.” Essentially, she says, it buys Amazon some grocery volume but none that “takes share away from other grocers.”

It’s no secret that Amazon was key in completely changing the way we shop.

In fact, it’s pretty much known for being the biggest disruptor in the retail industry. But as are as food shopping is concerned? Don’t worry. Your favorite local grocery store probably isn’t going anywhere any time soon.

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