Amazon’s Alexa-enabled Echo smart speakers can now place Whole Foods orders for you
“Alexa, add ice cream to my Whole Foods cart.”
Amazon announced on Monday that Prime Now shoppers can order Whole Foods groceries today using voice commands through its Alexa-enabled Echo smart speakers for same day delivery.
Since Amazon acquired Whole Foods last year for $13.7 billion, the grocery chain has been carrying Echo speakers in its 479 stores — which allow for hands-free on-demand ordering, as well as all of the other miracles Alexa can work. Amazon Prime members in San Francisco and Atlanta have been able to place Whole Foods orders through the Prime Now smartphone app since earlier this year, but the service has now been expanded to Prime members in all Prime Now markets. Once you sign up, you can simply say things like, “Add milk to my Whole Foods cart,” and Alexa will take care of it.
After each verbal entry, Alexa will confirm the items added to the cart, and then ask, “What else?” until your order is complete. If you say something generic like “bread” “cheese” or “cereal,” Alexa will select brands based on what you’ve ordered before, or draw on the purchasing behavior of other customers, an Amazon spokesperson told VentureBeat.
Once the order is placed, shoppers will be prompted to review the items and check out via the Amazon Echo or Prime Now app — so you don’t have to worry about Alexa just making a grocery list and sending a cart to your house based off of things she may have overheard you say. Say, “Alexa, check out” to finish the order. And those Echo users without the Prime Now app will be prompted to download the app at checkout.
This isn’t the first Whole Foods perk for Prime members. Amazon has been slashing prices at the upscale grocer since acquiring it last summer. Prime members score weekly deals and an extra 10% off sale items that have a yellow sticker at any Whole Foods store across the country.
To rake in the discounts in stores, shoppers sign into the Whole Foods Market app with their Amazon account, and scan the app’s Prime Code at checkout. Users also have the option to sub in their cell phone number at checkout, instead.
“Customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive — in fact, Prime members have adopted this benefit at one of the fastest rates we’ve seen,” said Cem Sibay, vice president of Amazon Prime, in a statement.
“Since starting this rollout in mid-May, Prime members have already saved millions of dollars on everything from seasonal favorites to popular products.”
Amazon first began lowering prices at Whole Foods last August, on its first official day as the owner of the high-end grocer. And for Thanksgiving, Amazon gave thanks to its Prime members in November by offering them Whole Foods organic turkeys for $2.99 per pound, and traditional, non-antibiotic turkey for $1.99 per pound — 50 cents per pound less compared to shoppers who weren’t subscribed to the e-retailer’s rewards program.
Greg Portell, lead partner in retail practice of A.T. Kearney, a global strategy and management consulting firm, told Moneyish, “In areas such as customer data and loyalty programs, there is a lot of overlap between Amazon’s established strength and Whole Foods’ potential. There will be quick, aggressive moves to combine those capabilities.”
For those who want to shop online and pick items up in-store, Amazon Lockers are also available in select Whole Foods Market locations.
This story was originally posted on Aug. 28, 2017, and has been updated with the new Alexa feature.
© 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved