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Online Trends

Published September 18th 2015

AmazonFresh: Appealing to a New Market of Unhappy Shoppers

Technology has shortened the feedback loops in almost every industry.

We’ve talked at length before about how tech has transformed the way we choose to watch television (namely, binge-watching entire series in one day).

The same transformation happened earlier in other areas – the trips to the record store and rifling through your CD collection has been reduced to a single click. Spotify, Pandora and now Apple Music have changed the way we consume music.

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Grocery shopping was one of the last areas to face this change. You can’t download a zucchini.

Yet, over the last five years, the gap between “I want this” and “I have this” has been greatly reduced.

With the help of Silicon Valley’s tech giants, it’s about to get a whole lot smaller. Supermarkets should be aware.

We’ve uncovered thousands of unhappy delivery customers from retail giants. If supermarkets don’t act to save them, swarms will turn to Amazon’s imminent UK launch of same-day grocery deliveries.

Brand recognition in a competitive market

Online grocery shopping certainly isn’t a new concept.

One of the first online businesses, Webvan, delivered products to customers’ homes within a 30-minute window of their choosing.

Unfortunately, this was also one of the largest dot-com bubble failures, going bankrupt in 2001.


Since then, a number of other businesses have followed a similar model and actually found some success.

Yet, it wasn’t till the late 2000s that online grocery shopping got a shot of adrenaline. With AmazonFresh and Google Express offering same day delivery, the industry became much more competitive.

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Very recently, the interest in these services has grown, as seen above in the chart showing conversation around online shopping throughout 2015.

Our analysis shows that mentions of online grocery shopping has roughly doubled since the beginning of the year.

Big players like Costco and Target are entering the fray by partnering with startups like Instacart, to give Amazon and Google a run for their money.

But how important is that for brand recognition?

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AmazonFresh has a slightly lower sentiment score than most other US same-day grocery retailers.

It has 63% positive sentiment, while the others are all above 70.

Comments like “Every time Instacart adds another big , like it just did w/Target, it gets more difficult and expensive for AmazonFresh” are a blow to a company widely perceived to be the leader.

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That’s not to say that others don’t have their detractors (as seen above), it’s just that they have less.

They certainly have less dectractors than UK online grocers.

Fish and microchips

In the UK, most online grocery stores will offer a selection of two-hour delivery slots in the next week, priced according to whether the slot is ‘peak’ or ‘off peak’.

Unsurprisingly, in a country where we’re used to instant, contactless transactions, tardiness doesn’t go down well.

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Every grocery delivery service in the UK faces the wrath of a hefty handful of unhappy customers.

Asda performs worst, with only 46% positive sentiment. In other words, there are far more detractors and complainers than advocates.

Sainsbury’s and Tesco are almost neck and neck with 58% and 59% positive respectively.

Ocado is the most loved traditional UK delivery service, with 63% positive sentiment.

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Scoring ahead of all of these is Amazon Prime Now, launched just two months ago, offering a speedy delivery within the hour in London.

With 72% positive sentiment, the detractors are few and far between.

As Amazon Prime Now rolls out to more cities in the UK, its share of the market will become larger and larger. See below the measurable impact of the rollout on the market.

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Yet, as convenient as Amazon Prime Now is, its inventory is limited, mainly offering non-perishable food.

Soon, Amazon will be rolling out AmazonFresh in London, aiming to target 2% of the UK’s £149bn-a-year grocery market.

With their ear to social media and clever poaching of customers, can Amazon turn that measurable impact into a massive one?

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