This week saw some big news in the world of shipping as retail giants Amazon.com announced a change in some of their shipping requirements.
Super Saver Shipping – the popular option that meant items were delivered free as long as the order totalled over $25 dollars in the US – has increased it’s threshold to $35. This follows the UK version of the website scrapping the free Super Saver option in July in order to implement a £10 minimum spend.
To date, Amazon have not announced their reasoning behind the change in the delivery pricing structure.
Amazon were certainly market leaders when they implemented their Super Saver Shipping – it was an innovation which helped kick-start a revolution in cheap or free shipping – certainly beneficial for consumers, but could perhaps have been seen as a cut-throat move by many smaller online retailers.
Perhaps one of the motives behind the change is to encourage more customers to sign up for their premium delivery service, Amazon Prime. Across the pond, the cost is $79 dollars a year for unlimited two-day delivery. £49 pounds a year in the UK gets you free one-day delivery. Prime members are shown to buy more, therefore raising revenue for Amazon.
It is, however, an undeniable drawback for many of Amazon’s loyal, but more intermittent customer base. This precisely goes against the Amazon ethos of doing more for its customers.
The company states in its financial documents, “We believe that offering low prices to our customers is fundamental to our future success, and one way we offer lower prices is through shipping offers.” This means that Amazon is reversing its approach to one of it’s core tenants of business operations – a decision one can only assume has not been taken lightly.