Same-day delivery with Amazon Prime – how does it work?
In a nutshell – you order a product in the morning, and it arrives at your doorstep by 9 PM. And that’s seven days a week, including Sundays (however, it excludes bank holidays). So, you wake up Sunday morning and you realize that you need to buy a new case for your phone. Go to Amazon, order it, and it should arrive at your doorstep in a couple of hours – incredible.
If you’re an existing Amazon customer and if you have Amazon Prime, you can actually get same-day delivery for free. If you’re not a Prime customer, you can get it for £5.99. That’s not a bad price considering you get the product that you’ve ordered in the same day.
Sounds too good to be true – what’s the catch?
For one, Amazon same-day delivery is available on only about a million items. While that may sound like a lot, it’s actually just a tiny fraction of the estimated 253 million products for sale in the company’s massive online store .It even pales in comparison to the 20 million items currently eligible for free two-day shipping through Amazon Prime.
Also, to receive packages the same evening, customers need to order them before 12:00 pm noon (or 1PM in Scotland). However, on certain holidays and busy shopping days, the order deadline may be even earlier.
While you can get same-day delivery for common items and best-sellers, you probably won’t be able to get same-day delivery for niche items. Still, that’s quite impressive to be able to order online and have your item delivered in a matter of hours.
Wait, same-day delivery? How is that even possible?
Well, just imagine the complicated logistics it takes to receive an online order, take the product, package it, put it on a truck and ship it to the customer. All of this within a nine-hour time frame. It’s a feat that seems nearly impossible, and since Amazon’s figured out how to do it, they aren’t too keen on divulging their secrets to competitors. That’s why they’ve been very tight-lipped about how exactly they’re able to make same-day delivery happen.
From what we know, Amazon stores these products across the country in fulfillment centers. These massive warehouses have thousands of workers and occupy hundreds of thousands of square meters.
When a customer places an order, employees known as pickers receive an alert telling them what to retrieve and where. They place the item in a bin and then, the item is sent on a conveyor belt to the packaging area. There the items are boxed and sent out for same-day delivery, although Amazon isn’t saying exactly who operates its trucks.
Is it worth it though?
For you as a customer – yes. Especially if you’re already a Prime subscriber. You basically get same-day shipping for free on a great selection of products. If you’re not a Prime subscriber, we’d say it’s still worth it. £5.99 in order to have the item delivered in the same day isn’t that bad of a deal. Especially if it’s a gift for a loved one that you may or may not have forgotten to purchase in time.
For Amazon? We can’t tell if it’s worth it for them or not, as they do not divulge their numbers. However, having hundreds of thousands of drivers working on Sundays can’t be cheap. But our guess is that if they’re still offering same-day shipping even now, 4 years after it was introduced, it must be worth it for them as well.
What’s next for Amazon Delivery?
Certainly, they will be looking to expand the service as competition from rival retailers increases. They’re also experimenting with services like Prime Now that could shorten delivery time to an hour. This is something they’re already doing in New York, Miami and Baltimore. And then, of course, there’s the famous Prime Air, which proposes to deliver packages in 30 minutes or less using drones. Work in progress though. Until then, we’ll have to wait at least an hour for Amazon orders, or, heaven forbid, two whole days.
To sum up
Members in hundreds of cities receive unlimited Free Same-Day Delivery on more than a million items. In addition, Prime members in cities across the UK receive one and two hour delivery on a selection of tens of thousands of everyday essentials with the dedicated Prime Now mobile app.
This really feels like the future, doesn’t it? Shipping and logistics at its best.
Not long ago we had to wait for days, maybe even for a week in order to have our item delivered. Then we got two-day delivery, one-day delivery… and now, we have same-day delivery. This really does feel like the future!