Prime Now Moves

Prime Now Moves To Web: Amazon’s Rush Delivery Service For App Users Broadens To Web

Amazon is moving Prime Now to the web. Customers will be ecstatic to hear that the e-commerce juggernaut is adding its one-to-two-hour delivery service to its website beginning in May, according to Bloomberg.

Prime Now is currently only available through a mobile application.

With the expansion of Prime Now moving to the web on Amazon’s site, it will attract new customers who haven’t used Prime Now in the app form. It’s estimated that three-quarters of the $96.2 billion in e-commerce transactions, according to research firm eMarketer, is predicted to come from other sources in the U.S. besides mobile devices in 2016.

Amazon is in the midst of contacting major brands in its strong attempt to sell them ad space with the promise of visibility before tens of millions of consumers who shop online.

The top-level package that Amazon is offering on Prime Now is the “Launch Hero Package,” which would cost brands $500,000 for about two weeks of placement on Amazon’s site, which includes email promotions sent to Amazon customers. The email promotions themselves have a standalone value of $100,000, according to the documents analyzed by Bloomberg.

As the report illustrates, Amazon’s aggressive effort in charging brands for access to its customers mirrors how supermarkets charge for prime shelf space in actual stores. Eye-level shelf space is the most coveted as well as aisle-end displays.

As Bloomberg notes, Amazon is charging premiums to brands for more visible placement on its site and is raising the minimum order amount for non-Prime members who want to take advantage of Prime Now. It’s believed that this will, in turn, create more subscriptions for Amazon Prime. In February, it raised the minimum order size for free shipping to $49 from $35 for non-Prime shoppers. Prime subscribers tend to spend more at Amazon over its non-Prime members. Amazon’s Prime Now members have access to video and music streaming and photo storage.

According to the report, Amazon’s spokeswoman declined to comment.

Amazon kicked-off Prime Now in New York City in December 2014 and has expanded the service to about 20 U.S. cities and London. The service includes delivery from local restaurants and stores in addition to products from Amazon’s warehouses. Two-hour deliveries are free for subscribers who pay $99 a year for Amazon Prime. One-hour delivery costs $8.

CNET reports that cities partaking in its Prime Now launch included parts of Manhattan before expanding to all Manhattan and part of Brooklyn. After announcing its push for Prime Now, it announced availability in parts of Baltimore, Miami, and Dallas. More markets are targeted by Amazon for this year. Amazon offers same-day delivery on groceries and dry goods in certain markets. It’s in the midst of testing the use of delivery drones.

Rush delivery provides shoppers with instant gratification. Online shopping is a convenience traditional stores find hard to compete with and launches like Prime Now moving to the web increase the uneven playing field. Nevertheless, Amazon could face its share of competition as a number of major tech and retail firms like Google, eBay, Walmart, and Uber are competing for rush delivery services as well.

In Manhattan, bicycle messengers provide Amazon shipments through a logistics center in the midtown area. Employees also walk, commute, or drive to deliver larger items, such as televisions, according to a company spokeswoman. In Dallas, Baltimore, and Miami, Amazon dispatches drivers from its warehouses.

Many will be pleased to hear that Prime Now is moving to the web for even better convenience.

[Photo by Mark Lennihan/AP]

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