Amazon Prime one-day delivery now covers over 10 million items in US
The company talks up its faster shipping capabilities as it works to stand out against Walmart.
Ben Fox RubinFormer senior reporter
Ben Fox Rubin was a senior reporter for CNET News in Manhattan, reporting on Amazon, e-commerce and mobile payments. He previously worked as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal and got his start at newspapers in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
said Monday its one-day Prime delivery program is now available on more than 10 million products across the continental US.
Products eligible for these faster shipments include books, baby wipes, doggie bags, sunscreen, closet organizers and cleaning products. Amazon noted that when it launched two-day deliveries in 2005, it only offered 1 million items, meaning its one-day program is already 10 times bigger.
The e-commerce giant in April announced plans to upgrade Amazon Prime in the US from a two-day shipping program to just one day. Early that month, it had already added more selection to its one-day program, and it plans to continue growing that inventory, the company said Monday. It's otherwise offered few details about the plan and its rollout, but said it's spending $800 million this quarter to upgrade its infrastructure to help speed deliveries.
The move ratchets up competition in the retail world, where Amazon has been growing relentlessly for two decades, with traditional retailers struggling to keep up with the company's innovations. The change to one-day shipping also comes as more retailers have started offering two-day shipping. Walmart, the world's largest retailer, is already working on matching Amazon's one-day push, saying last month it started offering next-day deliveries in Phoenix and Las Vegas.
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The same day as Walmart's announcement, Amazon tweeted: "Others are trying to up their fast shipping game. Fact is, Amazon customers in thousands of cities across 44 major metropolitan areas already have access to millions of items with free SAME DAY delivery. Customers are smart – they know the difference."
All this work is expected to speed e-commerce shipping times for customers. But with Amazon already a leader in shipping, this latest push could strength the company and leave more retailers in the dust, cutting down retail options for shoppers.
There are key differences between the Amazon and Walmart one-day programs. Amazon's one-day shipping doesn't include minimum order thresholds but requires customers pay $119 annually for a Prime membership. Walmart's program is free to use, but requires a $35 minimum order and includes far fewer items: about 220,000. By year's end, Walmart expects to reach about 75% of the US population with its one-day program.
In addition to one-day shipping, Amazon already offers same-day deliveries on millions of items in 44 major metropolitan areas, as well as its Prime Now program for deliveries in a few hours. Amazon had previously offered Prime one-day deliveries for orders over $35; that threshold still stands for its same-day deliveries.
Amazon has said it's working to speed up its deliveries globally, though Prime customers in the UK already usually get one-day deliveries and members in Japan generally receive their packages the same day. In Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico, Amazon said Monday deliveries are also getting faster, though packages typically arrive in one to five days.
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