Amazon Prime has seen absolutely incredible growth lately, posting over fifty percent growth in 2015 alone. The service and its related benefits, especially at the relatively low price they come for, have attracted quite a crowd. One of the many benefits of Amazon Prime is free two-day shipping for just about any item. This is a huge boon for those who shop on Amazon often, but on the flip side of the coin, fulfillment of this promise is taking more and more of Amazon's resource pool as more people sign up each year. Without a serious increase in available resources, growth of Prime subscriptions was bound to eventually begin eating into the shipping time of normal users.
According to Forbes columnist Kate Ashford, Amazon suffered a bit of a gloomy fourth quarter, possibly due to slow growth in their cloud IAAS business. Rising costs from delivering sometimes ridiculous items sometimes ridiculous distances in just two days for the growing number of Prime subscribers didn't exactly help. Amazon's stock prices took a small hit, indicating their resource pool dipping lower. As a result, it seems Amazon had to choose between fulfilling their Prime promises or continuing to serve normal users as well as they always have. The choice looks to have fallen with Prime members; fulfillment for average Joes has sunk to an average of four days, according to research done by StellaService. Their VP of research, Kevon Hills, spoke on the matter, saying, "There are 40 companies on our list, and Amazon has always been in the top 10. This year, we've seen them fall outside of the top 10, which is the first time we've seen that happen."
Shipping for the average order has dragged down to about four days. Though not exactly slow, it's no longer chart-topping according to Hills, who says, "Three years ago, if you delivered a package in four days, that was worthy of a top ten consideration… Now, if you deliver a package in four days, that puts you at 20. The industry is getting faster, and we've seen Amazon fall off a little bit." There was no word from Amazon about this phenomenon, but it's to be assumed that this will continue until their resources grow or a reshuffling takes place.