Amazon Ups The Ante On Free Delivery

Amazon wants to make sure that you get your merchandise as soon as possible. To that effect, the firm announced this week it will make same-day delivery free for its Prime members. The mega retailer noted its same-day delivery option (currently available in 14 cities) will no longer entail extra fees for Amazon Prime members.

Amazon Ups The Ante On Free Delivery

Now Prime members requesting same-day delivery will not gave to pay the $5.99 per-order fee, provided their order is at least $35. Amazon promises to have the merchandise delivered by 9 PM that evening assuming you order before noon.

Of note, Amazon’s even faster Prime Now service (two hour delivery) is available in New York, Atlanta and Baltimore, and is already free for Prime customers that live or work  relatively close to a warehouse. If you want delivery within an hour, you will pay $7.99.

The online retailing king is also putting more two cities on its list of eligible for same-day delivery, adding the coastal cities of San Diego and Tampa Bay. More than one million items From Amazon can be ordered for same-day delivery.

Amazon is protecting its turf

Amazon’s ongoing efforts to lower shipping costs for for customers is a move to protect its turf. Analysts point out that new companies such as Uber, Lyft and Deliv have been developing inexpensive or free same-day delivery, offering a possible challenge to Amazon from retailers whose stores are close by their customers.

Same-day delivery has long been the holy grail of e-commerce, and could be seen as the “knockout blow” for the brick and mortar retail business in general. Amazon has experimented with a variety of delivery alternatives over the years (including its own fleet of delivery trucks).

Statement from Amazon

“We have a long-term vision for this program but also, we have been working on same day since 2009,” Amazon spokeswoman Julie Law noted. “We are building on our existing infrastructure and improving the process and experience for many years to make this cheaper for customers and as easy as possible.”