Amazon unveils drive-through service that will pack groceries into shoppers’ cars “within minutes”

While drive-through fast food, car washing, and even juice have become commonplace, drive-through supermarket shopping could soon be the norm if retail giant Amazon gets its way.

Today the company unveiled its new service for its US-based Amazon Fresh grocery delivery customers, called Pickup. As the name suggests, it will allow customers to drive up to an Amazon Fresh store and have their shopping pre-packed and loaded into their car by an Amazon Fresh worker.

Read more: Amazon buys up Australian trademarks, but what’s its strongest weapon in the supermarket wars?

Consumers can shop for their groceries through the Amazon Fresh online store or by using the app app, then they can specify a time to get their shopping loaded into their car “within minutes”, by pulling into a Pickup store. Amazon specifies there’s no minimum order for the service, and pickups can be completed within 15 minutes of placing the order.

The service is currently only available in two US Amazon Fresh locations in Seattle, and is available for beta tester customers that have the company’s Prime membership. Amazon says it will then look at rolling out the service across the US.

Australians are still awaiting the arrival of Amazon Fresh, despite rumours in June 2016 the company was planning a launch this year. Amazon has remained tight-lipped on the timeline for an an Australian expansion, despite buying up a number of trademarks in December.

At the time, retail expert and a lecturer at Queensland’s University of Technology Gary Mortimer told SmartCompany Amazon could struggle to successfully launch Amazon Fresh in Australia thanks to the country’s geographic size and slow uptake of online shopping.

“In Australia, we’re a long way behind, less than two percent of Coles and Woolworths’ sales are online,” Mortimer said.

“Compared to the US and the UK, we’ve got a lot smaller population, and we have challenges associated with geographic distance because our population is so dispersed.”

Amazon Fresh Pickup is the latest in Amazon’s line of innovative grocery store concepts, with the retailer last year launching a pilot store for an autonomous, staff-free supermarket called Amazon Go.

Watch the company’s Amazon Fresh Pickup reveal video below.

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