Amazon has notified customers that it is ending its Amazon Tote pilot program in Seattle on March 3rd according to a letter sent out to customers. According to TechFlash, customers received an e-mail notifying them of this yesterday, and that they could transition over to the Amazon Fresh service, another home delivery option that is exclusive to Amazon’s home town of Seattle.
The premise of Amazon Tote was that you could get deliveries of just about anything the company carries to your home on a day of your choosing in a recyclable, weather-proof bag. Delivery was free, making this an appealing offer for anyone who used the ecommerce site frequently.
While a city specific service being discontinued would not normally warrant major attention, this comes on the back of a rumor back in Jan. that Amazon was looking to expand the service across the nation. Supposedly the retailer was already in the process of securing facilities and employees to roll this out in a major way, but that now looks to have been nothing more than a rumor.
Here is the letter sent out to customers via TechFlash.
Hello from AmazonTote,
We are writing to let you know that we are concluding the AmazonTote Seattle pilot. We will no longer take orders after 6pm Thursday, March 3, 2011. The AmazonTote pilot was launched in Seattle as a new customer delivery experience. We have loved having you as our customer and applaud you as an early adopter. We are working hard to incorporate your feedback on things you liked and things you want to see improved. In case you would like to provide more feedback, you can email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You may be interested to know that AmazonFresh carries over 40,000 popular Amazon.com products available for same-day or next-day delivery. Visit www.amazonfresh.com and click the “Amazon.com Now” tab to browse the full selection of kitchen, electronics, media, toys, and more. To help you get started, AmazonFresh is offering you a month of free Big Radish status. With Big Radish status, you get the free delivery you enjoyed with AmazonTote, as well as the added flexibility of choosing your own delivery time. To activate your Big Radish status, enter the code word “TOTE” when you checkout at www.amazonfresh.com. For more details on this offer, please visit http://fresh.amazon.com/Category?cat=promotion9997987162.
That’s not all! With Amazon Prime you can get FREE Two-Day Shipping with no minimum order size on millions of items on Amazon.com. If you haven’t had Amazon Prime in the past, you can try it free for one month by visiting http://www.amazon.com/gp/prime.
On behalf of the AmazonTote team, thank you for being part of the Seattle pilot program. If you would like to know more details, please read the FAQs we have compiled below.
— The AmazonTote Team
The original rumor also mentioned that Walmart was looking into a similar service, which, if true, means that the world’s largest retailer could have a distinct advantage now depending on how far along it is in its plans. It already has a free shipping service called “Site-to-Store” that requires you to pick up your products at one of its thousands of brick and mortar stores, so it isn’t hard to believe that they could possibly roll out a solution that would see them also bringing it to your home.
There is always the possibility that Amazon may just be retooling the service, but for now it appears that the idea of free deliveries from the popular company coming to our homes is dead.
What do you think? Would you like to see a service such as this from any retailer? Would it make you purchase more from them?