What the Amazon and Whole Foods Merger Means for Grocery Shoppers
In a grand effort continuing to live up to its name, Amazon steps into one of the many line lanes of Whole Foods, approaches the checkout counter with a $13.7 billion check, and buys out the entire corporation. This merger between the e-commerce monolith and the leader in organic foods would present a heap of benefits for both companies and their consumers.
Benefits for Amazon
Though Amazon is unlikely to gain many new customers from the merge (1010Data states 81% of Whole Foods shoppers already have an Amazon account), Whole Foods will offer Amazon over 450 brick and mortar refrigerated warehouses, making for an increase in local delivery efficiency.
Amazon has been known to satisfy most basic needs at the click of a button, and now they will be able to add organic foods to that list. Most importantly, they’ll now gain the opportunity to sharpen the ultimate tool of any e-commerce competitor: consumer data. Amazon will be able to collect offline shopper demographics and consumer habits through customer use of their physical locations.
Benefits for Whole Foods
Whole Foods, recently chastised for its penny-pinching customer service and unaccountability regarding food-storage safety, will stand to benefit from Amazon’s acclaimed customer service and product accountability. The health food store will now possess more efficient and reliable home delivery.
More importantly, Whole Foods will take advantage of Amazon’s substantial online distribution, visibility, and mastery of the one-click impulse-buy. Amazon has proven itself king at targeting online shoppers, more so than Google, who recently lost a lawsuit in Europe due to mishaps with their shopping search engine.
Benefit for Shoppers
The high prices of Whole Foods, often dubbed ‘Whole Paycheck,’ seemed to be one of its main customer complaints. By using its focus on commerce efficiency, Amazon intends to lower the cost of the organic store’s prices, according to Fortune. With the click of a button, a shopper can purchase affordable health-conscious foods, expect efficient delivery, accountable packaging, above-board customer service, and a heap of non-burdensome recommendations for future purchases. A win-win-win!
When it comes to efficiency and lower costs, something’s got to give. Amazon is already looking into tossing out the concept of cashiers. Though this would spike efficiency, it would also lead to massive retail layoffs. Amazon is also known for squeezing suppliers for bankrupt-level wholesale prices, so small business food suppliers will be squeezed out, replaced by presumably less ethical corporate suppliers.
Lastly, Amazon will be able to collect Orwellian-level information on consumers both online and offline. So far Amazon has proven itself to be mostly benign, we must trust that they continue to remain as such, regardless of this newfound hold on the national economy.