Amazon has launched its Amazon Fresh full line grocery service to Prime members in six areas of Tokyo. With an assortment of 17,000 fresh food items including fruit & vegetables, meat, fish and dairy and 100,000 items in total, the service has been launched with the help of the team that launched Fresh in London last June. It can be accessed direct from amazon.co.jp or from the Amazon app.
Similar to the US and UK, Prime members in Japan may initially sign up for a one-month free trial and then pay JPY500 (EUR4.16) per month to continue to use Amazon Fresh. Additionally Amazon Fresh in Japan will hold a “fresh city” event twice a week offering fresh vegetables purchased from local farms and fresh fish processed the same morning.
The launch of Amazon Fresh in Japan follows Amazon Pantry, which was brought to Japan last September. The Amazon Prime Now rapid delivery service is also available in 12 areas of Tokyo, Kanagawa Prefecture and Chiba with 11,000 everyday items including grocery and health & beauty.
Amazon appears to be following a set pattern for the launch of its new services in major geographies, sharing expertise from other markets whilst adopting an agile approach to finding the best local solutions. In Japan the “fresh city” event recognising the importance of freshness and provenance is an interesting local addition that will differentiate the service in Tokyo.
Partnerships are important to Amazon Fresh. In the US and in London Amazon has partnered with local bakeries and delis to offer premium, locally sourced fresh items and also with grocery retailers including Morrisons for private label lines. Amazon Logistics uses multiple partners to deliver goods in less than four hours in many cases and this gives the company a strong advantage in capturing impulse and top-up purchases, which sets it apart from many competitors.
Amazon’s largest international markets are Germany, the UK and Japan so we can expect to see a continued focus in these markets as the online giant builds its grocery expertise. It will be interesting to observe the similarities and differences and the learnings that Amazon implements across these as it expands.