Amazon has announced today that it is going to be offering free shipping on everything, and to everyone this holiday season. Instead of having the $25 threshold for free shipping, everything is going to be eligible for free shipping. And the best part is, this all starts today. So you can start your holiday shopping now and not have to worry about free shipping. Now this free shipping is not the free two-day shipping that Amazon Prime members are able to take advantage of. It'll be slower shipping, but with it being over a month and a half until Christmas, that's not a big deal right now. Though you can still sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime and enjoy that fast, two-day shipping or pay for really cheap next day delivery (usually around $3.99).
In the past, other retailers like Walmart, Target, Kohls, Staples and others, have been offering up free shipping during the holidays, to try and compete with Amazon and its Prime subscription. Though, this year it may not matter. Since Amazon is offering free shipping on everything, even for those that are not Amazon Prime members. Previously, Amazon only offered free shipping on orders of $25 or more, so if you were only purchasing something small, like a notebook that was a couple of bucks, Amazon forced you to pay the shipping there, but that's not the case anymore. And is likely going to lead to even more people using Amazon for their shopping this holiday season. Amazon's senior vice president of North American Retail, Doug Herrington stated that "this holiday, customers can enjoy free shipping with no minimum purchase amount on orders that will arrive in time for Christmas, including items from Amazon's expertly curated Gift Guides." Herrington explains that this is not taking the place of Prime's free two-day shipping and even same-day delivery in some areas. This is going to be slower shipping than what Prime members experience.
Background: Typically, the free shipping was reserved for Amazon's Prime members, as that was one of the big perks of signing up for its yearly membership - which is now $119 for 12 months. Is that you can get unlimited free two-day shipping on millions of items from Amazon. Though, on the surface, the announcement today looks like they were undercutting Prime's biggest feature, but they actually aren't It's simply free shipping, not fast, two-day shipping. So if you are a Prime member, it's still a worthwhile subscription to keep. As mentioned, in the past, the threshold was around $25 for free shipping on most items. And this was because shipping smaller items that are only worth a few bucks means that Amazon is losing money shipping the item. But this year Amazon has decided to take the hit. Of course, they will likely make it all back, especially during this busy holiday season.
Amazon is actually expecting this holiday season to be a bit slower than it has been in the past. And that was according to their last quarterly earnings call. The company is still expecting a larger quarter than the rest of the year, just nothing as big as analysts would normally expect. Though getting rid of the free shipping threshold will definitely help Amazon sell even more products and perhaps have a better quarter than it had first expected to have. Which would be great news to investors. With this news though, the competitors of Amazon are really going to feel it. They were already dropping shipping fees on everything to compete with Amazon, but now that Amazon has dropped the threshold altogether, it's going to make it tougher for them to compete. Which could result in deeper discounts at brick and mortar stores like Walmart and Staples.
Impact: This is going to have a big impact on Amazon's holiday season, and it could also mean that items will go out of stock much faster now. Amazon kickstarted its Early Black Friday sales last week, on Thursday. So it is already in full holiday shopping season gear, which is not a huge surprise, since this is Amazon's bread and butter, so to speak. There are already a ton of great deals available on Amazon, partly because it is Alexa's fourth birthday so there are a ton of Alexa products discounted pretty heavily right now. Which means that you can get started on your holiday shopping right now, which is a bit early, but it's better to take advantage of those deals than to miss out.
Black Friday takes place on November 23 this year, and it's the biggest shopping day of the year, followed by Cyber Monday on November 26. As we do every single year, we will be looking for the best tech deals and posting them on the site all month long, and particularly on Black Friday through Christmas. So if you don't have time to find the best deals, you can check out our site or Twitter, to find out the best deals as they are happening. Many retailers are starting to discount many products for Black Friday pretty early. So now is definitely the time to start paying attention to sales, for your holiday shopping. We also have a ton of gift guides that will be rolling out shortly, that will help you pick out the perfect gift for everyone that is on your list. This is the time of the year where you see the deepest discounts on virtually everything, so you're going to want to make sure you take advantage of them. And now with Amazon getting rid of that free shipping threshold, it's a great time to really take advantage of Amazon's low prices on everything, even the small stuff that you would be buying anyways. Amazon always has a ton of sales going on for everyday purchases, as well as the big stuff like laptops, smartphones and so much more. You can view Amazon's full news release about the dropping of the $25 free shipping threshold at the link down below.