With the all-important holiday season kicking off around Thanksgiving later this month, retailers are jockeying for customers' dollars and hoping to outpace Amazon, which takes up almost 50 cents of each dollar spent online in the US.
A few weeks ago, Target announced that it's going to offer customers free 2-day shipping during the holiday season, including Black Friday and Cyber Monday, with absolutely no requirements. The Amazon help page explains that delivery will take five-to-eight working days and then only after all the items in your order are available, including pre-ordered products.
Amazon is following Target and temporarily dropping the minimum amount shoppers need to spend to qualify for free shipping. Sales in November and December - excluding automobiles, gasoline and restaurants - are expected to increase between 4.3 and 4.8 percent over 2017 for a total of $717.45 billion to $720.89 billion, according to figures from the National Retail Federation.
The move makes hundreds of millions of items eligible for free shipping.
Amazon needs to pump up sales after the company's revenue projection for the remainder of the year fell below some Wall Street analysts' estimates.
Amazon says it has lined-up its "biggest ever " Black Friday sales event this year, with thousands of discounts earmarked for products in its toys, games, fashion, jewellery, beauty, and home departments. The company usually sets the final date toward the end of the season.
One Hour Grocery Delivery + Pickup: Prime members can shop groceries from Whole Foods Market through Prime Now in as little as an hour in 60 cities, and grocery pickup in as little as thirty minutes in select cities - making holiday feast planning or last minute baking even easier.
Typically, Amazon has a $25 minimum order amount for non-Prime members to get free shipping.