Amazon.com, the online shopping giant, is all set to offer consumers added benefits which are not likely to be available in offline retail stores. The Amazon Prime service comes with free two day shipping facilities, video streaming and even an e-book lending library for just a mere $79 per year. The company has decided to focus on these three areas at the moment.
Advantages of Prime
Many consumers have apparently been drawn to the service, supposing it to offer more value for money. On Monday, a representative for the website stated that they are at present shipping a greater amount of items via the company’s two day shipping service from Amazon Prime instead of the free Super Saver Shipping offer. The latter service provides a slow shipping rate but with the benefit of having to pay no extra shipping charges, if the total price of an order exceeds $25.
Amazon Prime, however, is not a free service as consumers are required to pay $6.58 a month for the privilege. The service is most likely to benefit regular customers. Amazon too stands to profit from the service as consumers who get their stuff more quickly due to two day shipping will most probably buy more.
The website has not specified the actual number of people who use Amazon Prime. This practice has drawn a lot of criticism in the past. Amazon along with its investors both expect the program to meet with success as it considerably reduces the one key disadvantage the company has – the inability of consumers to get the product right away. The closer Amazon succeeds in replicating that experience, the more it will be successful in removing the dividing lines between online and offline.
The company seems to be in the midst of experimenting with the concept of same day delivery in order to blur the line between traditional brick and mortar shops and online stores. On the other hand, one of the website’s most important affiliates seems to be diversifying its bets that the system of getting the stuff bought online just a few hours after placing the order will become more popular.
Monday was also the day when British startup firm Shutl made an announcement that private equity unit of international logistics company, UPS, has chipped in more than $2 million to help launch the same day courier service in the United States by next year. Shutl’s website contains all the necessary details regarding which city in the US will be the first to avail this service. Online auction site is also in the process of testing the same day delivery service.
If the process of same day delivery does indeed start to work, the wall that separates retail shopping and online shopping will start to blur. Amazon needs to introduce a greater number of distribution points closer to where consumers live if the same day service has to work.
The thorough efficiency of logistics teams in recent times makes the process of buying and delivery a lot simpler. If Amazon Prime succeeds in implementing the same day delivery system, shoppers are likely to become more accustomed to the point and click shopping model.