Amazon has launched its one-hour groceries online business Amazon Fresh in Birmingham, with its London launch planned for later this month. However leading e-commerce fulfilment specialist ParcelHero says the launch of Fresh also paves the way for Amazon to introduce the ‘Internet of Things’ into Britain. It warns this will be a further blow to Britain’s beleaguered supermarkets.
ParcelHero’s head of public relations, David Jinks, said: “As ground-breaking as the launch of the Amazon Fresh one hour delivery service is in the UK, it is clearing the way for something even more significant in the long-term, its ‘Internet of Things’ service: Dash.
“Dash will eventually enable your fridge to automatically order your milk or pizza when you run out, or your coffee machine to know when you need your next Expresso or Caremelito. As ParcelHero revealed to Forbes last week and The Times predicted back in July, the arrival of Amazon Fresh is the precursor to Amazon Dash in the UK, and such technology is expected to develop rapidly.
“Amazon’s Fresh service was quietly introduced in Birmingham this week, offering around 50 key items initially. Chilled grocery products available include a very British range unlikely to appear in the US Fresh service, Pukka Pies! Areas of London will follow very shortly, with a wider UK launch in place for spring 2016. The warehousing and logistics needed for launching Fresh will also underpin the Dash service. In a number of US cities where Amazon Fresh is available, Dash has already been introduced. Over 500 products are now available in the US for instant order through Dash, including Tide, Kraft Foods and Hershey’s.
“At the moment users literally tap a button attached to their fridge or other appliances to order without fuss, but the technology is already available to enable freezers, etc, to keep track of various products and send a replenish order automatically. In a recent retail industry study Forrester’s estimated that we’re only about two years away from reaching the reality of the fully ‘Connected Home’.
“Already the internet has moved beyond our PCs and mobile devices to connect with our cars, TVs etc. The kitchen and the bathroom are the next frontiers. The UK’s already hard-pressed supermarkets and grocers had better be prepared for the Next Generation of online shopping.”
The launch of Amazon’s Fresh and Dash services in the UK was predicted in ParcelHero’s recent industry report Amazon’s Prime Ambition.