Last minute holiday shoppers might heave a sigh of relief over Amazon's same-day deilvery option, though it's currently limited to seven U.S. cities.
Online retail giant Amazon.com announced plans to offer same
day delivery in seven major U.S. cities, as well as an expansion of Saturday
shipping options. The shipping option "Local Express
Delivery" allows customers in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore, Las
Vegas, Seattle and Washington, D.C., to purchase same day delivery service for
$5.99. The company said the program would be expanded to Chicago and Phoenix in
the coming months.
Amazon also listed the purchase cutoff
times for same day delivery, which range from 10 a.m. (most East Coast
cities) to 1 p.m. (Seattle, where the company's headquarters are located). Customers
will find delivery cut-off times posted on each product's detail page, a
company release stated. Girish Lakshman, vice president of transportation at
Amazon, said the company's aim is to make online shopping as convenient as
possible. "We're continuously working to speed up delivery times and customers
receiving items on the same day as ordered is an exciting step," Lakshman said.
"Now, if a customer needs a last-minute present for a birthday or wants a copy
of their book club book before the weekend starts, they can order from Amazon
instead of the hassle of a last-minute trip to the mall."
Also aimed at reducing the stress of
holiday shopping are expanded Saturday delivery options. Now, items ordered
before the cut-off time on Thursday using Two-Day Shipping will be delivered on
Saturday instead of Monday, Amazon announced. For Prime members (an annual $79 "fast
shipping" membership program), Thursday-to-Saturday delivery is free using Two-Day
Shipping, and for all other customers the service is offered at the current Two-Day
Shipping rates. Saturday delivery is also available for orders placed before
the cut-off on Fridays for $6.99 per item for Prime members and an additional
charge for all other customers.
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.