With just over 10 days until Christmas, Amazon made the stunning announcement that they have increased the amount of cities where one-day and same-day shipping is available for Prime members. This is obviously just in time for shoppers who might be looking for last-minute gifts, or will be in a week or so. The original number of cities where this service was available to Prime members was 5,000, but now it’s 8,000. This move is definitely calculated to bring in more Prime shoppers who are looking to get their gifts quickly and at the last minute. However, it could easily have the added effect of encouraging more regular Amazon customers to sign up for Prime in order to get the new fast shipping.
The expansion of this service isn’t just limited to major metropolitan areas, but plenty of outlying areas as well. Some of the states focused on include Washington, Virginia, Texas, Maryland, Nevada, New York, Arizona, California, Florida and several more. The move also gives Amazon a distinct revenue advantage over other online shopping sites who tend to lose sales as Christmas draws closer due primarily to shipping times and costs. Amazon can now position itself to take advantage of those last-minute shoppers who would generally head out to brick and mortar shops in the last few days before the holiday.
Amazon same-day has already been adding to areas served in the last year. For example, last spring it came to 27 metropolitan areas, which only included about 1,000 towns and cities. The vice president of Amazon Prime released a statement saying that the company was constantly investing in increasing the service and selection for Prime customers. They seek to make delivery easier and faster. In 2016, for example, the last same-day delivery order through Prime delivered before Christmas was ordered on Christmas Eve at 10:23 AM. It was delivered at 2:42 PM the same day. The service was free for a Prime customer located in Richmond, Virginia.
Fast delivery is one of Prime’s top selling points, if not its biggest selling point. Other retailers looking to compete include Walmart, which rolled out its own free two-day shipping service without requiring a membership. Walmart is one of Amazon’s biggest competitors so naturally Amazon needed to respond, and it did by increasing the availability of one-day and same-day shipping to more of its customers around the country.
In order to identify the products available for same-day or one-day, Prime members should look for icons that indicate this on the product page or product list. They can also filter search results to only show one-day and same-day items. Orders totaling over $35 that include eligible items will then ship for free any day of the week for Prime members. Non-members will pay $8.99 for the same-day service and then an additional $0.99 per product in the order. In order to get same-day service, orders should be placed in the morning for arrival between six and nine in the evening. Orders placed later in the day will then arrive the following day.
For further convenience, Amazon also released a helpful schedule showing cut off dates for shipping. December 18 is the cut off for standard shipping, December 22 is the cut off for two-day shipping and December 23 is the cut off for one-day shipping. Christmas Eve is the final day for same-day delivery with an order time of before 9:30 AM.
Amazon has been rolling out new delivery methods all year, including using Amazon Lockers, Whole Foods stores and customers allowing delivery people into their house with the Amazon Key service.
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