Amazon has long been known for its desire to own all parts of online commerce and with the growth of AmazonFresh, its grocery delivery, it has extended its reach into millions of kitchens. But the online giant has also been intentional about its support for the little guy – from startups to small companies, Amazon is often seen providing a platform for anyone to expand their reach. Like their startup platform LaunchPad, which serves up physical products from startups to millions of Amazon consumers, AmazonFresh is now offering artisanal and “local” fair to customers on the Eastern seaboard.
The shop local and farmer’s market movement has faced growing competition from online commerce, particularly the move to automate grocery ordering & delivery. But it’s not a perfect replacement because it often doesn’t allow for customers to find local produce or handmade items similar to the ones they’d find at their local farmer’s market.
And then there’s the farmer/artisan perspective. Many of these small businesses do less than $50k in revenue every year and are unable to grow beyond their geographical region do to economies of scale. That’s where AmazonFresh comes in. The company’s delivery arm offers a vehicle and a platform to serve up items like specialty cupcakes, unique and local meats and nitro coffee.
The companies who have already signed on to participate in the AmazonFresh delivery program have already seen an increase in sales and are reaching new customers they otherwise would have no way to engage with. In a comment to the Washington Post, Amazon spokesperson commented on the program’s early success, “Many of these companies began with Amazon in mid-September and only six weeks into the program have seen sales that will be significant and impactful to their businesses.”
From a convenience perspective, it’s easy to see why it would be appealing for a consumer, who might not always get to the weekly farmer’s market, to be able to have access to local and fresh goods while also supporting small mom and pop operations. And for Amazon, the company knows that few people do their entire household shopping at a farmer’s market or small marketplace, so they’re offering the best of both worlds – large superstore goods and artisanal and specialty items – and benefitting from customers seeking the convenience of all-in-one shopping.
Read more about the AmazonFresh farmer’s market approach at The Washington Post.