Amazon has made everyday shopping easier than ever with the Amazon Prime Pantry program. In a bid to capture a larger share of typical household spending, Amazon has created a program that offers special pricing on everyday products. Prime members can now go beyond their typical Amazon binge shopping to getting their grocery shopping done online as well.
Taking a bigger position in online grocery shopping is a smart move by Amazon with the industry expected to reach 20% of total retail grocery shopping before 2025 it is easy to understand why. Customers want more convenience and Amazon’s continually expanding fulfillment network makes it easier than ever.
Understanding what the Prime Pantry program is, how it works and how to sell on it is important for grocery retailers and brands to understand. We are going to look into each aspect of the program and talk about what you can do as a grocery brand to take advantage of online grocery shopping growth.
What is Amazon Prime Pantry?
Amazon Prime Pantry is one of the Amazon grocery shopping programs that allows customers to purchase household items and nonperishable foods items. Products are available for purchase in everyday sizes and area not available in bulk sizes. Perishable items are not eligible for Prime Pantry and can only be purchased through the AmazonFresh program.
The Amazon Prime Pantry program is only available to Amazon Prime members. Customers can make everyday purchases through Amazon and have the products shipped together to their doorsteps. By setting minimum unit requirements for shipping Amazon is able to offer more products that would be cost prohibitive to ship on their own.
Prime Pantry is a special membership and has an additional fee along with other restrictions. Prime Pantry membership also provides special promotions and discounts only available to Prime Pantry members. Deliveries are not guaranteed to have two-day shipping as other Prime products due to product sizes, weights and delivery locations.
How Does the Program Work?
Prime Pantry gives Prime members access to shop for thousands of products through the Amazon website or app. Products included exclusively in the Prime Pantry program are marked with a black and blue Prime Pantry logo. Shoppers can get access to ordering Prime Pantry products by visiting the enrollment page on Amazon.
The products available through Prime Pantry can only be nonperishable. Prime members can purchase cleaning supplies, processed foods and packaged foods, paper supplies and other everyday household items. The goal of the program was to make shopping for households and families easier by offering reduced prices and shipping for frequently purchased products.
Enrolled Prime Pantry members get free shipping on all orders above the $10 threshold. Prime members can still purchase Prime Pantry products, but are not eligible for free shipping unless they spend $35 or more. Products that are exclusively Prime Pantry are grouped separately from your normal prime products in your shopping cart. These products are also shipped separately from normal prime products.
How Much Does It Cost?
Amazon Prime Pantry requires shoppers to at least have an Amazon Prime membership. Prime memberships currently cost $119 per year. Customers that then want to become Prime Pantry members can pay an additional $4.99 per month to receive unlimited free shipping on orders greater than $10. Orders that are under $10 will have a shipping charge of $5.99. Prime members can get a 30-Day free trial to test the program out. Note that AmazonFresh memmers already have access to Prime Pantry.
A Prime membership is all you need to be able to shop on the platform however your shipping thresholds are different without the monthly Prime Pantry membership. You can still receive shipping for spending greater than $35 on Prime Pantry, and $5.99 for orders under that threshold. Customers in certain participating states can also get free access to Prime Pantry with a valid EBT card.
How Amazon Prime Pantry Delivery Works
Amazon Prime Pantry products are not guaranteed 2-day delivery. Due to the different sizing and weights of the products Amazon needs to utilize ground shipping for delivery. This slows down the delivery process and makes it difficult to meet 2-Day shipping. Amazon states that delivers will arrive between 1-4 business days.
Prime Pantry orders are not eligible to be delivered to certain addresses. Amazon will not ship Prime Pantry products to P.O. boxes, dorm rooms, Amazon lockers or APO/FPO addresses.
Where Does Prime Pantry Deliver
Amazon Prime Pantry is only available within in the contiguous United States and not available in any other countries. That means that any Prime members in Alaska, Hawaii or Puerto Rico are unfortunately excluded from joining Prime Pantry.
How to Sell on Amazon Prime Pantry
Amazon Prime Pantry also has specific limitations for businesses that sell on Amazon. The program is currently only available to grocery and consumer product goods companies that are vendors to Amazon. Amazon relies on the 1P model to operate Prime Pantry and guarantee that the products are available and in stock.
Only Amazon Vendors are able to sell in the Prime Pantry program at this time. Vendors can list their consumable products on Vendor Central. Once the product begins to gain sales velocity, they can request to be included in Prime Pantry. The requests are handled by Amazon vendor managers and meet certain requirements to be accepted.
This does not mean you cannot sell groceries or nonperishable items on Amazon. However, brands and producers can still sell groceries through the Seller Central platform. Non-perishable items can sometimes be stored in Amazon FBA fulfillment centers.
Perishable items or nonperishables that are not eligible will need to be fulfilled by the manufacturer or a third-party fulfillment provider.
Products can still be Prime Eligible and have 2-day shipping if brands offer and meet the requirements for Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime. Having the Prime badge on your listing will help your grocery products compete with Amazon Prime Pantry and AmazonFresh offers.
Prime Pantry presents a unique opportunity for grocery and CPG companies. While overall online grocery spending is currently low, expectations for significant increased spending in the future means companies need to start adapting now.
The grocery industry has not caught up to the pace of eCommerce yet and getting onto platforms like Amazon Prime Pantry can help early movers become established brands in the eyes of eCommerce shoppers. Amazon as the largest eCommerce platform should be a strategic channel for every grocery and CPG company. We realize the importance of moving quickly on Amazon and it is time to help grocery brands realize it as well.
Michael Begg is the co-founder of AMZ Advisers. Mike loves sharing advice and help on anything related to Amazon, eCommerce and digital marketing to help other entrepreneurs achieve their goals. Over the years, he’s grown the business to managing over $10M per year in ad spend and $100M per year in Amazon sales.