I had been wanting to try Prime Now, Amazon's 2-hour delivery service, for the past few months and their offer of a $10 credit for first-time customers in the weeks leading up to July 4th finally made me take the jump.
I decided to use it three times prior to writing a review of the service. Overall, it is fantastic and I'll certainly be using it going forward.
Is it just another delivery option?
No, it is a different website altogether (https://primenow.amazon.com) and though your Amazon credentials work on it, you have to select an address and payment method from your saved choices on Amazon's main site, as well as choosing notification options and providing a telephone number. It seemed strange that the website was completely different, rather than listed as an option on items, such as the same-day delivery option available for some items. For example, I had an item in my cart on the main site when I decided to try Prime Now and although it was available on Prime Now, it didn't transfer over. I ended up deleting it from my cart on the main site and added it to the cart on Prime Now.
What is Available?
Lots of food (fresh fruits, vegetable, snacks and ice cream), video games, electronics and plenty of other items. I bought ice cream and they put it in an insulated bag while out for delivery and it wasn't melted at all, something that I can't say happens when I even go to my local store.
I saw quite a few hard drives on there and that got me thinking of just how many companies I know that pay a very large premium to some vendors to ensure they can get hard drives within x number of hours. Due to hours of service, Prime Now isn't competitive for the time, but something they could easily offer as a premium service in the future with the infrastructure they are setting up all over the country.
Cost for Delivery
There isn't a delivery fee, though they ask that you tip when placing the order (not allowed in-person). Two weeks ago, the minimum order size was $15, but today when I place my third order the site said the minimum for everyone had been changed to $20. This doesn't include the optional tip.
Item Cost vs. Grocery
I'd estimate that two-thirds of the items are less expensive than in my local grocery store and there isn't a delivery fee (optional tip). The couriers were very polite and hand you the grocery bags or will set them wherever you ask.
Time to Delivery
Prime Now operates on two-hour blocks of time for the delivery, such as 4:00pm to 6:00pm, as can been seen below.
|Order Date||Order Time||Delivery Time||Total Time|
|Monday, July 4, 2016||2:07pm||5:19pm||3 hours, 12 minutes|
|Tuesday, June 21, 2016||6:14pm||9:17pm||3 hours, 3 minutes|
|Monday, June 20, 2016||9:24am||11:14am||1 hour, 50 minutes|
From the time you place an order, you can see where it is on a zoomable map, which is really cool. Once it is assigned to a drive, it tells you their name.
The map updates every minute and you can see it approaching you. The drivers clearly batch the orders and when you're next in line, you receive an email or text message to notify you of the impending delivery. For perishable foods, they require a person be there and are very clear about that when ordering.
Once delivered, the map turns to a checkmark.
Prime Now puts everything into the classic paper grocery bag and it is sealed at the top with a label. The drivers also point out which is perishable and are very nice.