Amazon primes more markets for Whole Foods delivery, adds voice ordering

Amazon continues expanding Whole Foods online delivery, and is also enabling ordering through its Alexa voice assistant.

Amazon and Whole Foods Market are launching delivery of natural and organic products through Prime Now in Chattanooga and Knoxville, Tenn., Destin and Tallahassee, Fla., Greensboro and Wilmington, N.C., Allentown, Pa., Fort Collins, Colo., Huntsville and Montgomery, Ala., Jackson, Miss., Palm Desert, Calif., and Portland, Maine.

Prime members in those cities can shop through Prime Now for thousands of items including fresh produce, meat and seafood, everyday staples and other locally sourced items and receive delivery in as little as an hour. The service, launched in February 2018, is now available in 88 U.S. metros and will continue to expand throughout 2019.

Prime members can shop thousands of items across fresh and organic produce, bakery, dairy, meat and seafood, floral and everyday staples from Whole Foods Market available for delivery. Select alcohol is also available for delivery to customers in Destin and Tallahassee, Fla., Greensboro and Wilmington, N.C., and Palm Desert, Calif. Delivery from Whole Foods Market is available daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

“Prime Now delivery continues to be a hit with our customers and we’re excited to introduce the service to even more Prime members across the country,” said Christina Minardi, Whole Foods Market executive VP of operations. “It’s just another way we’re making it even easier for more customers to enjoy Whole Foods Market’s healthy and organic food.”

Customers can also find out if delivery is available in their area by saying, “Alexa, shop Whole Foods.” In addition, Prime members can add items to their Whole Foods Market cart by saying “Alexa, add eggs (or any desired product) to my Whole Foods cart.” When they are ready to check out, they can say “Alexa, check out my Whole Foods cart,” and then perform checkout using the Prime Now app and choose pickup or delivery.

Amazon is adding voice-activated grocery shopping in select Whole Foods markets in the wake of Walmart enabling shoppers to order items directly to their Walmart grocery shopping carts using Google Assistant by saying “Hey Google, talk to Walmart.” The voice-activated shopping capability, launched last month, works on any device with Google Assistant.

Only a small number of people are currently using speakers for shopping. Voice commerce in 2018 accounted for approximately 0.4% of U.S. e-commerce sales, according to eMarketer. But analysts expect it to increase in the coming years.

“We still don’t see a lot of people shopping and buying with smart speakers yet, but this may change if more lower-cost models begin to incorporate screens,” said eMarketer principal analyst Victoria Petrock. “We’re also likely to see people doing more things with their voice assistants as they find their way into cars and other home-based devices.”