Next up for Amazon's one-hour delivery service: Austin.
The online retailer started its Prime Now rapid delivery service in December in parts of Manhattan, letting its Prime members order thousands of products -- including batteries, paper towels and toys -- through a mobile app. Since then, it's expanded the service at a steady clip to all of Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn, and certain zip codes in Baltimore, Miami, Dallas, Atlanta and now Austin.
The company has been making these announcements every week for the past month and said it will continue rolling out to more cities this year, so even more announcements should be coming soon.
Two-hour deliveries in part of those cities are free for Amazon's Prime members, who pay $99 a year for unlimited two-day deliveries and other benefits. One-hour deliveries for Prime members -- only available in certain zip codes -- cost $8.
Through the Prime Now service, Amazon is trying to top other online vendors while at the same time competing with traditional retail stores. Amazon already provides same-day delivery onand in certain markets. It also offers a that promises same-day delivery on a range of consumer items. The company has even been testing the use of delivery drones, though it's required by the US Federal Aviation Administration.
Prime Now is also another feature aimed at convincing more shoppers to sign up for Amazon Prime membership service, which includes streaming music and video services, unlimited cloud storage of photos and other perks. The company says it has "tens of millions" of Prime members globally, but doesn't provide more specific numbers.
Amazon will likely face some tough competition, as several others major tech and retail firms are competing in the rapid-delivery arena, too. Google, eBay, Walmart and Uber are all working on their own services.