Amazon Now delivers world domination

The company recently launched an ambitious one-hour delivery service for buyers in Minneapolis.

Martha Pietruszewski

I would like to take this time to personally apologize to the personnel at Amazon warehouses — I know I order weird things sometimes, but the fake blood is for the Zombie Pub Crawl. I promise.
 
I didn’t feel like going to the store and getting judged for buying zombie makeup. Now, if I need these supplies right away, I can get them from Amazon. The e-retailer recently launched Amazon Now in Minneapolis and other parts of the Twin Cities, meaning you can get whatever you need in an hour. Amazon made the right move implementing this before winter.
 
Amazon Now offers food, home goods and other sundries. Delivery costs $7.99, and it will only be available for Amazon Prime members (a $99 annual membership). I think this service will be great for things you need in a pinch, such as extra cups or some decorations. Going shopping at night when it’s below zero is the worst. Amazon can help alleviate that pain by allowing you to stay warm. 
 
However, I also think Amazon is late to a market where several food delivery services are already available. The company also imposes a minimum order of $20. With the delivery charge and a minimum $20 order, it’s actually not very convenient to order food this way. Amazon will need to alter its strategy if it wants to stack up against competitors such as DoorDash or Postmates.
 
Something that would be more beneficial to the Minneapolis market would be Amazon Fresh, a service that delivers fresh groceries on the same day you order them.
 
In any case, by adding Amazon Now to Minneapolis, Amazon continues to boost Minnesota’s economy. The retail giant is looking to build a distribution center in Shakopee that will employ 1,000 people. This announcement comes tied to the fact that Amazon is also looking to open a smaller warehouse that will likely be used as a package-
sorting center. 
 
I believe the distribution center and Amazon Now are the first steps to Amazon building a bigger presence in Minnesota. It’s great that various large companies on the West Coast realize Minneapolis is a viable market and that we are open to new products like this. Google Fiber, I’m looking at you.
 
Before Amazon really takes off, though, it needs to monitor its performance with its new services. Guaranteeing one-hour delivery is no small feat. What will the company’s service recovery plan be if it does not meet these promises? If there are issues with the app or on-time delivery, this project will go south very fast. 
 
I also think Amazon Now needs to be open to customers without Prime memberships. The $99 fee is a hefty price tag each year, and once my student discount expires, I’m going to have to re-evaluate whether to pay for it. 
 
Despite the new service’s potential shortcomings, I’m excited about its possibilities and what’s in store for Minneapolis in the future. For now, I’m going to fill my virtual shopping cart with things I don’t need — but will buy anyway.