Amazon expands grocery selection as "add-on" service

Krystal Peak · May 25, 2012 · Short URL:

Items previously reserved for bulk purchase can now be added to your Amazon cart if over $25

Amazon has beefed up its offerings to accommodate those looking for even more items than before. While Amazon had previously limited certain grocery, houseware and beauty items in the past to require bulk purchase rather than individual (like with cat food, certain teas and other food items), they have recently minted an "Add-on" program that allows you to add single portions of these restricted items once you already have $25 in you basket.

The reason for the previous restriction was that these items were too small or heavy to economically ship individually and so limits were place that required they be shipped in bulk -- and now that has been extended to "add-on" to other purchases.

By making these grocery items available to more shoppers, Amazon is signaling that there was a need to increase sales and its competition with discount retailers elsewhere.

The company is also, likely, betting that this will boost individual sales and push impulse buys or overall cart price. 

The $25 threshold is also a bright-line since that often qualifies them to get free shipping.

Amazon Prime members, who pay $79 a year for free two-day shipping on qualifying items, will also have to spend $25 in order to get these items, but they will get items shipped to in two days rather than the standard 3-5 days.

Amazon has been working hard to increase the value of Amazon Prime memberships. Alreay, members can choose from 16 million items to get shipped free to their door, 17,000+ instant videos sent or streamed to their devices, and a Kindle Owners' Lending Library. 

Amazon has been looking to continue expanding and diversifying lately. Earlier this month, the company announced that it wants to create its own original programming for its Amazon Prime Instant Video service -- much like Hulu and Netflix now do.

Amazon will be accepting pitches for shows from writers via its Amazon Studios division. Writers who submit the pitches will get $10,000 if Amazon places an option on the program. If Amazon then chooses to turn the pitch into a show, the writer will get an additional $55,000 and a 5% cut of merchandise and other royalties. The focus for pitches initially will be for comedy and children’s programming.


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