Amazon has announced that it will be offering free shipping on all US orders for the holidays. This is the first time that the e-commerce giant is doing this, hoping that the move will help it sign up new Prime members during the holiday season. Last year, only Prime members were eligible for free shipping. Other shoppers had to make a minimum order of $25 to qualify for the free shipping program. But the company is getting rid of this requirement. The waiver will take full effect starting Monday, and Amazon claims that the move will deliver more convenient and faster shipping options for its customers.
Retail sales are expected to grow by 4.8% this holiday season compared to last year. Amazon is looking to take full advantage of this growth by beating off other competitors like Target and Walmart. The promotion will only be available in the US though, and will make hundreds of millions of items sold on the e-commerce platform eligible for free shipping. This is way higher compared to Amazon’s competitors. For instance, Walmart is only availing about 75 million items for free shipping.
Amazon is also in a very tight position after its sales projections for the year fell below Wall Street estimates. The holiday season could offer a good chance to make up for the deficit and with free shipping now on the cards, the e-commerce giant hopes that many more people in the US will shop on its platform this holiday season.
However, Amazon didn’t clear up when the program will come to an end. Normally, the free shipping promo tends to end at the end of the Christmas festivities. We are not sure whether the e-commerce company will announce a date later or let the program run well into the New Year.
Amazon will also be making over 3 million products available for same-day delivery for its Prime members. Although Prime customers have always gotten amazing perks during the holidays, this time they are getting much more than they are used to. Amazon will be offering same-day delivery at Whole Foods too. At the moment the program is available in 60 cities across the US. The e-commerce giant acquired Whole Foods last year in a multibillion-dollar deal in order to establish a physical presence in the brick and mortar retail space. It seems so far that the progress has been quite good.
Free shipping is seen as the new war among retail giants to win over customers during the festive season. All the major retailers including Walmart and Target are also offering this option. However, unlike the Amazon program, customers still have to make a minimum order to qualify. Whether this will change in the coming few days is still unknown but many experts believe that the Amazon program is likely to attract small shoppers who are looking to enjoy savings on shipping during the holidays. Besides, Amazon is availing many items for the program, and the company is confident that it will increase its sales for the calendar year as we enter the final stretch in December.