Amazon.com built its business selling all kinds of things online, making it one of the nation's largest retailers. To win even more business, it's trying to get those purchases to consumers faster – for a price.
When ordering from Amazon, standard delivery is 3 to 5 business days. If you select that option, chances are you won't see you purchase any sooner than that.
In 2005 Amazon launched Amazon Prime. For an annual fee of less than $100 members received free 2-day shipping on all orders. To get their money's worth consumers often felt the need to order lots of stuff, so it worked out.
Amazon has since added other benefits to Prime, including access to streaming video content, added in 2011. But pretty soon, 2-day delivery didn't seem all that fast, so Amazon has consistently focused more attention on ways to get items to consumers even faster.
Same day delivery
Because it has massive distribution centers scattered around the country Amazon is able to offer same-day delivery in several cities, for an extra shipping fee of $5.99.
Amazon has just announced it is extending that service to Prime members in certain cities without the extra shipping charge. They will be able to get some items delivered in just one day, included in the $99 annual fee.
There are several strings attached. Not all items will qualify and purchases must total $35 or more to be eligible.
Purchases must also be made before noon to arrive the same day and the delivery must be to one of 14 metro areas.
It might be said that delivery has, itself, become a commodity in the marketplace. Other competitors like Walmart and eBay are working on their own delivery deals, perhaps prompting Amazon to push the envelope a bit.
In 2013 Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced plans to use drone aircraft to make deliveries – a plan that still must navigate some challenging regulatory turbulence from the Federal Aviation Administration before it can begin to be implemented.
Last week Amazon disclosed its Prime Now service will provide 1-hour delivery service from other local stores, along with many Amazon items, to members in select Manhattan neighborhoods.
“Our Prime Now hub in Manhattan is home to tens of thousands of products that are being delivered to customers in an hour or less. Now, we are expanding the service to include delivery from local stores,” said Dave Clark, Amazon’s senior vice president of worldwide operations. “So whether you’re ordering diapers and a big-screen television from Amazon, fresh produce from D’Agostino, a chef-made prepared meal from Gourmet Garage or cupcakes from Billy’s Bakery, we will get all of the items right to your door in lightning-fast speeds as well.”
Amazon says that service and will eventually spread to include other Manhattan neighborhoods and other major U.S. cities.