scorecardDevelopers are creating grocery bots to nab Whole Foods delivery slots the moment they open up
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Developers are creating grocery bots to nab Whole Foods delivery slots the moment they open up

Shoshy Ciment   

Developers are creating grocery bots to nab Whole Foods delivery slots the moment they open up
Retail2 min read
  • Demand for online grocery delivery has surged amid the pandemic as people stay home and avoid public spaces.
  • Software developers are creating products to give people a technological edge when it comes to ordering groceries online, Vice first reported.
  • These bots notify users when a delivery slot is available on Whole Foods or Amazon Fresh, and some of them expedite the entire checkout process.
  • An Amazon spokesperson told Business Insider that the company will release a queueing feature to give customers a virtual place in a delivery line to make the process more equitable for all shoppers.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Looks like bots are not just for sneakerheads anymore.

As the demand for online grocery delivery grows, developers are creating software applications to give users an edge when it comes to placing online orders, Vice first reported on Tuesday.

These products are called bots, and they come in different shapes and sizes.

One Google Chrome extension automatically polls Whole Foods delivery slots on Amazon's website every 60 seconds and alerts the user when a slot opens up. Another bot for Whole Foods and Amazon Fresh delivery secures delivery slots the moment they become available and then completes the entire checkout process for the user as well.

The developer of the latter bot, data scientist Pooja Ahuja, told Vice that she decided to create her product when she saw her elderly friends and family members having a tough time ordering groceries online during this period of such high demand.

"I designed the bot for those who find it extremely inconvenient in these times to step out, or find it not safe for themselves to be outside. It is my contribution to help flatten the curve, I really hope this'll help reduce the number of people going out," Ahuja told Vice.

An Amazon spokesperson told Business Insider that the company will be releasing a queueing feature to give customers a virtual place in a delivery line to make the process more equitable for all shoppers.

"Our primary focus is increasing delivery availability every day so that we can serve more people," an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement. "To do this, we've rapidly expanded grocery pickup, increased hiring, transitioned select stores to exclusively fulfill delivery orders, and more."

In the past, bots have been utilized among resellers in the sneaker and streetwear resale industry, where they are generally considered controversial pieces of technology. Some resellers decry these software applications as conferring its users a significant advantage when it comes to getting a pair of shoes in limited online release.

Read Amazon's full statement to Business Insider

"Grocery delivery is a vital service as communities face the challenges of COVID-19. Our primary focus is increasing delivery availability every day so that we can serve more people. To do this, we've rapidly expanded grocery pickup, increased hiring, transitioned select stores to exclusively fulfill delivery orders and more. And, in the coming weeks we will release a queueing feature giving customers a virtual place in line to secure time to shop and schedule delivery, allowing for a more equitable distribution of delivery windows."

Read the original article on Business Insider

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