If you're an Amazon Prime member, you probably love the free two-day shipping. Even though deliveries are already an Amazon's specialty, it's always looking to make it better.
For instance, how about shipping that's even faster than that? That was definitely major news coming from a recent earnings call, which we'll come back to.
That's one of a few things in the works that might completely change the way we think about online shopping. Some of these changes will be welcomed with open arms, while one's a little unbelievable.
Amazon fast shipping to get faster
During what seemed to be a routine first-quarter earnings call, Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky casually mentioned that the company is working to evolve Prime free two-day shipping into free one-day shipping. You know, nothing major.
There's already one-day shipping on some items and same-day delivery available in certain cities, but this would be a major expansion of service that'll cost Amazon about $800 million to see through.
Just in the past month, Olsavsky said they've already expanded one-day shipping for eligible products and zip codes. Its planned one-day standard won't happen overnight, though, and widespread roll-out will most likely take many more months.
And there it is. Jeff Bezos looking at other retailers like Walmart and Target, with yet another mic drop.
Come right on in, Amazon
Possibly the biggest plague with online shopping these days is porch pirates. You know, those horrible people who drive around the neighborhood looking for packages that were left at someone's door so they can rip them off. (PssT! Click or tap here for 6 tricks to keep packages from being stolen.)
One thing making things worse is, shoppers don't have much control over deliveries. You place an order and the package shows up when it shows up, even if it is as quick as the next day. So if you're at work when that new iPad gets dropped off at the front door, there's a chance a porch pirate will get their grubby hands on it. That's the kind of thing Amazon is trying to stop.
Enter Amazon's Key program. They introduced the service in 2017, which allows Amazon's delivery drivers to drop off packages inside your home. You would need a special lock and camera to sign up for the service, and of course be a Prime member. Find more about the service here.
Next came free in-car delivery, which was dependent on what kind of vehicle you drive. Now, those packages are coming to your garage.
Similar to the other methods, you have to have some tech add-ons. In this case, a Chamberlain MyQ hub or garage door opener with MyQ built-in and an optional camera. Find out more about Key for your garage by clicking here.
Pick your own Amazon delivery day
If you're not into letting Amazon drivers into your house or car, consider another recently-developed perk for Prime members called Amazon Day. This allows you to schedule a default day for your package(s) to arrive, regardless of when you place your orders.
How to set up your Amazon Day
The next time you go to make a purchase, you will see a new "Choose your Amazon Day" button at checkout under the Review items and shipping section. Select that option to choose the default day that packages will be delivered. That means you can schedule deliveries for days you know someone will be home, cutting down the chance of theft.
Monday through Saturday are your options. Sunday is the only day you can't pick.
Once you've chosen the day that works best, you can order items throughout the week and select Amazon Day delivery in checkout. Your items will be delivered on that day, every week. If possible, Amazon will put multiple orders in the same box, which can also help cut back on clutter.
But if there is an order that you need right away, you don't have to choose Amazon Day. You will still see the other delivery options, like one-day, two-day, or two-hour where available.
Amazon Day isn't the only delivery feature in the works. This next one sounds a little out there.
Would you let the Amazon robot live with you?
If you really want to step into the future, check out this patent that Amazon recently had approved. It speaks of autonomous ground vehicles (AGV) that are used to retrieve items from delivery trucks.
(Image source: U.S. patent no.: 10,216,188 B2)
Basically, you would have a robot-type AGV living with you. Whenever you order something from Amazon, it goes out on its own to pick up the package. It will meet the Amazon delivery truck at specific locations.
The AGV may be owned by a single user, or by a community of users. For instance, if you live in an apartment complex, there could be one stationed there for everyone in the community to use.
This is still in the developmental stage, so who knows when or if it will actually become reality. But it's a pretty cool delivery system, wouldn't ya say?