Amazon Puts New Online Grocery Customers on a Wait List
Only existing customers can order groceries for delivery or pickup as Amazon struggles to meet surging demand.
If signing up for grocery deliveries through Amazon is on your to-do list, you're out of luck and will have to join the back of a wait list.
As Reuters reports, Amazon has taken the decision to stop accepting new customers for grocery deliveries or pickup, instead adding them to a wait list. The reason, as you've probably guessed, is due to a huge increase in demand (60 percent according to Amazon) during the coronavirus pandemic. Amazon simply can't make enough delivery slots available without placing a limit on the number of customers snapping them up.
Online grocery orders can be placed using Amazon Fresh and Amazon Prime Now. The company has responded to growing demand by increasing the number of Whole Foods locations where orders can be collected. It was 80 locations before the pandemic hit, but now there's 150 stores offering the service. In total, Amazon operates 487 Whole Foods stores in the US, so there's certainly plenty of scope for the expansion to continue. Store hours are also being adjusted to help focus on online grocery orders.
If you're an existing customer, grocery orders can still be placed assuming you can grab a free delivery slot or live local to a pickup location. A new system is also being worked on to help customers attempting to grab a delivery slot. As Stephenie Landry, vice president of Grocery at Amazon, explains in a blog post, "in the coming weeks, we will launch a new feature that will allow customers to secure time to shop. This feature will give delivery customers a virtual "place in line" and will allow us to distribute the delivery windows on a first come, first served basis. Simultaneously, we will continue to add capacity as swiftly as possible."