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Amazon Fresh vs. Prime Now: What’s the Difference?

Food delivery services have been skyrocketing in popularity within the past few years, especially after the pandemic hit. Delivery services allow people who do not have the time or don’t want to go to a grocery store to have someone else shop for them.

There are many grocery delivery services out there, and Amazon itself has multiple grocery delivery options. In this article, we’ll cover the differences between Amazon Fresh and Prime Now. 

The main difference between Amazon Fresh and Prime Now is their availability. Amazon Fresh is available in over 2,000 cities in the United States and a few global ones. Prime Now is available in over 75 major cities in the United States and more than 15 cities worldwide.

Amazon Fresh and Prime Now are both delivery services that allow you to buy groceries through Amazon but have some different nuances. They used to have more differences but have grown more similar in the last two years.

We will get into the two delivery services, their similarities, and their differences, so you can decide whether either is right for you. 

What Are the Costs for Amazon Fresh and Prime Now?

Amazon Fresh and Prime Now are both included in the cost of your Amazon Prime membership. If you are not a Prime member, Amazon Fresh has an annual fee of $119.

When these grocery delivery services first began, Prime Now was included in your Amazon Prime membership. You had to be an Amazon Prime member; otherwise, you could not access Prime Now.

Amazon Fresh was a service that allowed you to buy groceries on Amazon without being an Amazon Prime member. The service cost $14.99 a month, and this applied whether you were an Amazon Prime member or not.

This was beneficial to those who wanted access to the Amazon Fresh delivery service but had no need for Amazon Prime membership. However, in 2019, Amazon changed this.

Amazon Fresh is now included with your Prime membership, similar to Prime Now. However, you can still get Amazon Fresh without being a Prime member. The cost is $119 annually. 

There is no extra monthly cost and no delivery fee when you order groceries with Prime Now as long as the order is over $35. Anything under $35 is charged a flat $4.99 delivery fee. 

When it comes to minimum orders, ordering groceries on Amazon Fresh requires a minimum order value of $35-$50, depending on the city. Anything less incurs a $9.99 delivery fee.

For both services, tipping is not included. And for both services, tipping is recommended. 

What Is the Availability of Amazon Fresh and Prime Now?

Amazon Fresh is available in over 2,000 cities in the U.S. and some global ones. Prime Now is only available in over 75 major cities in the U.S. and more than 15 cities worldwide.

Amazon Fresh has a farther reach than Prime Now. If you live in a major metropolitan city such as New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, or Chicago, which service you choose will depend on other aspects outside of availability.

You can easily browse through both delivery options, see which one better fits your needs, and use that service. In other areas, this might not be the case. While Prime Now continues to expand, it still might not be available where you live.

If you are interested in either Amazon Fresh or Prime Now, be sure to check if you can get groceries delivered to where you are.

You can visit Amazon.com/AmazonFresh to check availability in your area. To check the availability for Prime Now, you can visit primenow.amazon.com

If you are traveling internationally, seeing whether you can get either delivery service might make things easier for you when it comes to food shopping. You can download the app to browse your city options. 

Image Credit: Amazon

What Products Do Amazon Fresh and Prime Now Offer?

Both Amazon Fresh and Prime Now offer various grocery options for shoppers. Amazon Fresh has groceries and other essential products, whereas Prime Now has more common convenience items. 

Each service gets fulfilled differently, which affects what may be available. Amazon Fresh is fulfilled at the Amazon fulfillment center, whereas Prime Now uses Whole Foods and local stores to fulfill your order, meaning it comes directly from retail shelves.

Because the orders are fulfilled differently, it also subjects it to a different availability. If your local store does not have the items you ordered, you won’t be able to get them.

As a whole, Amazon Fresh has an estimated 500,000 total products available for shoppers to browse and buy. Prime now comes in at a lower count, with about 10,000 products available per market.

Depending on what city you are in will depend on how many markets are available to you in your surrounding area.

How Soon Can I Get My Amazon Fresh and Prime Now Orders?

You can get your Amazon Fresh order in as little as 2 hours, and you can get your Prime Now order in as little as 1 hour. Amazon Fresh allows you to pick a specific delivery window, which can be another day entirely.

At a minimum, you can get your order delivered in 2 hours with no extra cost to you. Someone at the fulfillment center receives your order, fills it, and takes a local Amazon Fresh delivery truck to get it to you.

When it comes to Prime Now, it is useful for more instant gratification and delivery. If you need something quickly, and it is available, you can get your order in as little as one hour. An extra fee might be charged for the 1-hour delivery.

The average Prime Now delivery is 2-3 hours. The shopper goes to your local stores and fills the order with what is available. Contracted Prime Now delivery drivers will then make the grocery delivery.

Image Credit: Amazon

Can I Pick up My Amazon Fresh and Prime Now Orders?

Yes, you can pick up your order for Amazon Fresh in as little as 30 minutes at no extra charge. For Prime Now, you can pick up your order in some locations.

You should browse each platform on the app to find out if the pick-up option is available where you are. 

What If I Have an Issue with My Order?

There is an easy chat feature for both services if any problems arise. Customer service issues might happen, although the hope is that they do not.

If you have any issues, you can use the chat feature to get them resolved. If you need a refund or a credit, Amazon recommends contacting their customer service directly.

Final Thoughts

Buying groceries through a grocery delivery service makes things a lot easier for shoppers. It saves you time as well as the worry and hassle of going to a grocery store. For the extra it may cost you to tip, you are saving a lot more.

Amazon, as one of the biggest delivery options out there, has multiple grocery delivery options. Amazon Fresh and Prime now are their two major ones. Now that they are both included with Prime membership, they are similar in many regards, with a few nuanced differences.

Aspects such as fulfillment and delivery time frames are the main ones, as well as the location that the service is available.

When it comes to buying groceries on Amazon, it gets easier and easier as time passes to do so. If you wonder which delivery option is right for you, download the app today and browser to see which one best fits your grocery shopping needs.

If you’re interested in finding out more about grocery shopping on Amazon, check out the related articles below.

Related Articles:

Amazon Fresh vs. Whole Foods: What’s the Difference?

Amazon Fresh Out of Stock: Here’s What You Need to Know

Do You Tip Amazon Whole Foods Delivery? (Yes, Here’s How Much)

Do Amazon Gift Cards Expire? (Here’s What to Know)

Does Amazon Deliver on Sundays? (Yes, Here’s What to Know)

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About the Author

Joanna Smykowski is a writer on the Shopfood.com team. She is an attorney, marketing professional and has over 5 years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including food. Outside of work, you can find her traveling, reading, or dancing.

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