business news in context, analysis with attitude

Last week we took note of a Bloomberg report that Amazon "is launching the biggest overhaul of its grocery business since it acquired Whole Foods Market six years ago - revamping stores, testing new highly automated warehouses and, for the first time, offering fresh-food delivery to customers who aren’t Prime subscribers.  In a move likely to play well with shoppers, the company also plans to merge its various e-commerce supermarket offerings from Whole Foods, Amazon Fresh, - into one online cart."

We saw the beginning of the public integration yesterday as this email was sent to customers, promoting the broad availability of 365 by Whole Foods private label items on Amazon's website.

Here's what customers saw in the email:

KC's View:

It was the Subscribe & Save element in the email that really grabbed my attention - I've never seen that level of integration between Amazon and Whole Foods before, and it makes a ton of sense.  It is good for the shopper, and takes advantage of synergies that should've been exploited years ago.

This should just be the beginning.  The next step should be for Amazon to establish Subscribe & Save's presence inside Whole Foods stores.  Imagine walking down the aisle, seeing an items that you buy on a regular basis, and there is the ability in the moment to use a shelf code and your smartphone to instantly put that item on your Subscribe & Save list.  Not only would this be smart for Whole Foods, but it would help Amazon establish Subscribe & Save even more as a powerful consumer tool.

Full disclosure:  I didn't just conceive of this idea about building auto-replenishment functionality into the in-aisle experience.  It is, in fact, part of the package created by Replenium for its retail customers.  Replenium isn't just a valued MNB sponsor, but it also happens to be the brainchild of Tom Furphy, who led the team that created Subscribe & Save when he worked at Amazon, and now has developed a competitive product for the broader retail community.