Amazon is taking it up a notch, with even faster delivery for its prime members. This week, the online retail giant, which hooked shoppers on getting just about anything shipped in two days, announced that it will provide one-day delivery for its U.S. Prime members on most items. “We’re currently working on evolving our Prime free two-day shipping program to be a free one-day shipping program,” said Brian Olsavsky, Amazon’s chief financial officer, said during an earnings call. As reported by VIN News, the company hopes that this will help it compete against Walmart and Target, where ordering online and picking up at a store is becoming more popular with shoppers.
Also, the new one-day delivery time may help make its $119-a-year Prime membership more attractive, since nearly every other online store offers two day deliveries for free with minimum purchase. “It is a smart change, but it is also one that is becoming increasingly necessary,” said Neil Saunders, managing director at GlobalData Retail. “Other retailers have really upped their game in terms of delivery.” Saunders said the change will likely create pressure on Amazon’s retail competitors to step up, as shoppers get comfortable with even faster shipping times. Shares of Walmart and Target fell on Friday, the day following Amazon’s announcement.
Amazon has not yet specified when the change to its U.S. Prime membership will occur, but it said on Thursday that over the past month it has been adding to its selection of items that will be eligible for one-day deliveries. In some other countries, including the U.K., Prime members already enjoy one-day shipping. “We’ve been offering faster-than-two-day shipping for Prime members for years — one day, same day, even down to two-hour delivery for Prime Now, so we’re going to continue to offer same day and Prime Now morphing into, or evolving into, a free one-day offer,” Olsavsky added.
The Seattle company is equipped to offer the one-day delivery since it has spent over 20 years adding warehouses around the country where orders are packed and shipped. Also, Amazon has become more self-sufficient, delivering more packages itself, rather than relying on UPS, the post office and other carriers. It’s fleet of jets has grown, and the company has plans to open package sorting hubs at two airports and launched a program last year to allow contractors across the country to deliver Amazon packages in vans stamped with Amazon’s smile logo. Amazon predicts it will spend $800 million in the year’s second quarter to speed up deliveries.
“We expect to make steady progress quickly and through the year,” Olsavsky said in the earnings call, though he admitted that it will take “a significant amount of time” to achieve one-day shipping on a global scale.