Amazon debuts AmazonFresh Pickup, drive-up groceries delivered to your trunk

Amazon’s grocery efforts just got a new level of convenience for shoppers: AmazonFresh Pickup, a drive-in grocery delivery right to your car’s trunk, launching in beta on Tuesday. Shoppers just order online from AmazonFresh’s selection, pick a time slot (as soon as 15 minutes after you make your order), and then drive to an AmazonFresh Pickup location and pull into a parking space, where your groceries will be loaded directly into your car by a service agent within a few minutes.

The service is bundled as a free addition for Amazon Prime subscribers, adding a significant new feature to the company’s existing list of Prime features. There’s also no minimum order, so if you want to pick up just a tube of toothpaste – well, you do you.

Available items include fresh produce, meats, bread, dairy and a range of household items, among others. The program is actually limited to Amazon employees only for now, since it’s in beta, but once it’s open for a broader audience it’ll be available to all Prime members. There’s also a geographic limitation, which means while every Prime member will be able to use it, you’ll have to pick up in Seattle’s SODO and Ballard neighbourhoods, where the company’s two current AmazonFresh Pickup locations reside.

Amazon has been exploring a range of different ways to rethink grocery shopping, and this looks like another interesting experiment blending traditional shopping with its own ecommerce model. AmazonFresh has been slow to expand geographically, but if this proves promising, it might help with those efforts to grow that aspect of the business.