Free same-day delivery is a nice perk that millions of Amazon Prime customers in and near major cities nationwide have access to. But not all access is created equal, as a recent investigation found out, and the map of who was being excluded has some unpleasant undertones. In Boston at least, the city with the most obvious delivery hole, Amazon is now changing its tune and will expand service to all residents.
Amazon Prime started out a few years back as a way for power users to save on quick shipping. These days, it sometimes feels instead like Amazon is crawling one inch at a time toward a Costco-style membership-only future behind the Prime gates. The latest goods to move behind the velvet rope? A bunch of big-name video games.
Effective same-day delivery is kind of the holy grail of online retail right now: being able to get your hands on that thing you need right now when you need it is the one advantage brick-and-mortar stores still have, and it’s the one Amazon in particular wants to chip away at. The list of cities where Amazon promises Prime subscribers access to same-day delivery keeps getting longer, but there’s a snag: not all addresses within a city are considered equal, and the pattern to the areas without access looks distressingly familiar.
Earlier this week, Amazon announced that it was making its Prime membership program — which includes access to the Prime library of streaming video and music, discounted and expedited shipping, and other benefits — available on a monthly basis in two different forms. Instead of the annual all-encompassing fee of $99 (which comes out to $8.25/month), shoppers have the option of either $8.99/month for Prime Video only, or $10.99/month for full access to the program. So does it ever make sense to go the monthly route or should Amazon shoppers just ante up for the annual subscription? [More]
While Netflix and Amazon Prime have been seen as the two main competitors in the subscription streaming market, it’s been difficult to do an apples-to-apples comparison of the two because Amazon has long charged a yearly fee for Prime, and even then the Amazon subscription also includes other benefits like discounted shipping. But now Amazon appears to be taking dead-aim at Netflix with a monthly, streaming-only version of its video service that is less-expensive than the competition. The e-tailer is also looking to expand its Prime membership my making it available on a month-to-month basis. [More]
The unofficial word in the business rumor mill is that Amazon plans to expand its Prime Now two-hour delivery service in cities that have it to customers using the company’s website, not just the mobile app. Amazon hasn’t confirmed or denied that news, but did officially announce today that it will be expanding free same-day delivery for Prime members to 11 new metropolitan areas in the United States, and more areas within five metropolitan areas where the service is already available. [More]
Sprint has a deal that might be attractive to some out there, but there’s a bit of math involved: customers can get access to Amazon Prime as a monthly add-on to their regular bill. Okay, cool — but then there’s the price. It’s $10.99 per month for free two-day-shipping, access to Amazon’s music and video services, and all the other stuff that comes with a Prime membership. [More]
In what would appear to be an effort to nudge more people toward paying $99 a year for the free shipping included in a Prime membership, Amazon is raising the free shipping minimum for non-Prime members from $35 to $49. [More]
Amazon’s Subscribe & Save feature is useful when there’s something that you want to buy online and know that you’ll need regular shipments of, like electric toothbrush heads or bags of freeze-dried marshmallows. There’s a catch, though: if you have Amazon Prime and want free two-day shipping on those mailing labels or novelty emery boards, selecting the Subscribe & Save option from the item page doesn’t get you two-day shipping by default. [More]
After all these years of Amazon Prime being around, most of us know that a major perk of the subscription service is free, expedited shipping. But it looks like Amazon’s focus on getting packages to Prime customers has resulted in slower deliveries for shoppers who didn’t ante up $99/year for Prime. [More]
Every now and then, Amazon finds itself in a generous mood for whatever reason, and will offer up special discounts to boost the buzz surrounding its Prime subscription service. This time, it’s a weekend discount that lops $26 off the regular price for an annual membership to Prime… for new subscribers only, of course. [More]
For years, Amazon was able to win over some video game fans by guaranteeing release-day delivery of new titles. But now that gamers can pre-order digital downloads of their games (for the same price) so that they’re available right away when they go live, Amazon is going after customers who want to save money on these pricey new releases. [More]
The presents have all been unwrapped, the egg nog has done its job and you’re ready to stop talking to everyone who’s been getting on your nerves all day. Here’s to hoping you’ve got access to a streaming subscription service, and your father-in-law finally figured out where he put the piece of paper with the WiFi password on it. [More]
After a few years of deconstructing video entertainment into dozens of individual streaming sites, we’re beginning to see a trend toward re-bundling of those services. Hulu sells access to Showtime, Sling TV offers streaming HBO, and now a new report claims that Amazon Prime will soon be offering one-stop shopping for other streaming video companies. [More]
When Amazon tried to sell the public on its Fire Phone, one of the inducements was that the phone, which originally cost $199 with a two-year AT&T contract, would come with a one-year membership to Amazon Prime. Sweet deal, since Prime costs $99 per year, and Amazon eventually sold the phones for a buck. The Fire Phone itself flopped, but te idea of giving away Prime subscriptions with phones may hold promise. [More]