Amazon Reduces Free Shipping Minimum
Amazon.com has lowered its free-shipping minimum to $35 from $49 for orders placed by users without Prime membership, likely to combat Walmart's similar move in January, BusinessInsider.com reported.
Late last month, the Bentonville, Ark.-based mega-retailer dropped its ShippingPass program, its rival to Amazon Prime, allowing for free two-day shipping on orders. It also slashed the minimum purchase requirement for free delivery from $50 to $35.
The tradeoff appears to be this: Walmart still offers free two-day shipping for any shoppers, while Amazon offers it only for Prime members. However, those who are members of Prime still get to enjoy the extra amenities the Seattle-based ecommerce giant offers: Prime Music, Prime Video, exclusive product lines and more.
Although Amazon is ramping up its efforts to become a chief player in grocery, a strong area for Walmart but still relatively new to Amazon, Walmart is starting to prove itself to be a formidable rival on the ecommerce front. Though the mass-merchandiser's online sales were $13.7 billion in 2015 versus Amazon's $107 billion, BusinessInsider.com reported, it announced this week an impressive fourth-quarter 2017 rise in sales and gross merchandise volume: 29 percent and 36 percent, respectively. This compares to Amazon's overall sales increase of 22 percent in Q4 2016, which ended less than a month before Walmart's period mentioned earlier.
In other Amazon news, the company on Wednesday offered a one-day incentive with a coupon for $8.63 off orders of $50 or more placed through midnight PST, covering only Amazon-sold products. The ecommerce giant said the signficance of the $8.63 discount reflects its top standing on the national Harris Corporate Reputation Poll, scoring 86.27, which it rounded up for its one-day coupon.