We're nearly a full week into November, and that means the holiday shopping season is now underway. Kicking things off, Amazon, the world's largest online retailer, has expanded its free shipping perk to anyone in the United States, and there is no minimum order amount. It doesn't matter if the item costs a buck or a hundred bucks, it ships out for free.
This applies to hundreds of millions of items, qualifying it as the largest free shipping selection in the country, according to Amazon. In addition, those who have ponied up for a Prime membership can shop with free same-day delivery on more than three million items, which Amazon says is the largest same-day selection in the country.
"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 across electronics, fashion, home and toys," said Doug Herrington, Senior Vice President of North American Retail at Amazon.
This is the first time that Amazon has offered free shipping with no minimum purchase amount. It highlights the intensifying competition with companies like Walmart and Target in the online shopping space, particularly around the holiday season. Everyone and their uncle in the retail space is hoping to bolster their bottom line with a boost in end-of-year sales during this busy season. To wit, Target for the first time is also offering free two-day shipping with no minimum purchase, from November 1 through December 22.
Normally an Amazon shopper needs to spend a minimum of $25 to enjoy free shipping on qualifying items, or become a Prime member. That number used to be $35, but Amazon reduced the minimum amount in May of last year. Amazon could potentially lose out on some sales by shipping lower cost items for free, but undoubtedly did the math and calculated it had more to gain by going this route.
Amazon's free shipping offer is in effect now and runs for a "limited time," presumably until it can no longer guarantee that items will arrive in time for Christmas.