Amazon is aiming to speed up deliveries for Prime members worldwide.
Brian Olsavsky, Amazon’s chief financial officer, said during an earnings call on Thursday that the company is currently investing around $800 million to build the infrastructure so that customers can receive their orders in one business day instead of the current two.
“We’re currently working on evolving our Prime free two-day shipping program to be a free one-day shipping program,” Olsavsky commented during the call, adding that the extra convenience could boost Prime membership numbers and encourage customers to make more purchases on the shopping site.
Amazon already offers some Prime members one-day shipping, and even a two-hour delivery service called Prime Now, but it’s only available in selected areas and covers a limited range of goods. Its long-standing two-day unlimited shipping pledge covers its entire Prime membership base and it’s this that the company wants to reduce to just a single day, though Olsavsky hinted that several of its delivery time frames could eventually merge into one.
“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,” the executive said during the call.
He added that the company has already started working on achieving its aim of even faster delivery by gradually expanding the number of zip codes eligible for one-day shipping.
“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.
Amazon hopes that one-day shipping for Prime members will help to give it the edge over rivals such as Walmart, which currently offers free two-day shipping on millions of items. Pressure is also coming from the likes of Target, which last year started same-day delivery of large items bought in-store.
Amazon Prime costs $120 a year — or $13 month to month — and offers a slew of benefits beyond free shipping that includes access to Amazon’s collection of streaming video content, music tracks, and ebooks. Still, it’s not for everyone, and if you’re done with the free trial or are a long-time member that wants to finally cut ties, here’s how to end your subscription.