Amazon.com’s relatively new online grocery section seems to be doing fairly well, especially considering that the majority of online grocers have come and gone faster than overripe berries. Amazon is offering an even wider range of products than when the grocery store first began and the fact that they are expanding shows that there is consumer interest. But getting people to order staples – milk, flour, etc – online is not easy when they can go to their regular market and pick up the same items in mere minutes, so Amazon is introducing a new program to try to convince shoppers that buying online is better. Subscribe & Save lets you select those staple items that you buy on a regular basis and sends them out to you automatically at a preselected interval. It gives discounts and sends out notifications of special deals and, since shipping is free, it could be a useful way to keep your home stocked at a good price.
Unfortunately, despite their expanded offerings, their new S&S service doesn’t seem to have nearly the same selection (particularly with bigger brand name items) as traditional markets, which definitely detracts from its utility. So, while it might be nice to have chocolate chips delivered to my door, I’m not going to wait around for an order when there are cookies to be made. I’ll stick with regular stores and the occasional specialty shop for my food and baking needs.