While it's certainly convenient to make purchases through the majority of online retailers, it usually means you also have to be patient — and the waiting is the hardest part. Then, there are other retailers.
Over the past two months, it's been a tug-of-war between Amazon and Walmart over which retailer will get packages to you faster. Now, the delivery wars are heating up once again.
Back in April, Amazon announced it would be evolving its free two-day Prime shipping to one-day shipping. This week, it's starting to roll out across the country.
Prime free one-day shipping rolling out
For Amazon Prime members, one-day shipping and even same-day shipping isn't exactly new. You just had to live in one of a few dozen major metropolitan areas where those speedy shipping services were offered.
Then, during a first-quarter earnings call in late April, Amazon's CFO casually announced the company would be spending about $800 million to cut the time it takes to get your Prime deliveries in half. Instead of having to wait two whole days to get your new headphones or laundry detergent, it could arrive the day after you place your order and in so many more parts of the country.
Beginning this week, Prime Free One Day delivery is available on more than 10 million products, from coast-to-coast with no minimum purchase. If one-day delivery is available in your area, it will appear as an option next to certain products while you're shopping.
How it compares to Walmart NextDay
When Amazon first announced next-day delivery on April 26, Walmart responded with a simple tweet. Whether it was ready for Amazon's announcement or not, it trolled them quite well.
One-day free shipping...without a membership fee. Now THAT would be groundbreaking. Stay tuned.
— Walmart (@Walmart) April 26, 2019
Then, in mid-May, Walmart announced its free NextDay service was immediately rolling out to select cities in the western U.S. It said it would also be expanding to about 75% of the U.S. population this year.
So how do the two services compare?
- COST: There's no minimum for free one-day shipping for Amazon Prime members, but membership costs $119 a year. Walmart's one-day service is free but requires a minimum purchase of $35.
- WHO WINS? If you have no interest in the other services that come along with a Prime membership (Prime Video, streaming music, etc.), Walmart has the edge with free shipping that really is free.
- OPTIONS: With this week's rollout, Amazon says more than 10 million products are eligible for Prime Free One-Day. Walmart said during its announcement that NextDay delivery would offer up to 220,000 of its most frequently-purchased items, which can vary by where you live.
- WHO WINS? Amazon is the clear winner in this category.
- AVAILABILITY: Lopsided numbers of products aside, some experts have said delivery from Walmart could be more efficient than Amazon's because the company's stores and distribution centers are closer to consumers. Amazon has large distribution centers that feed smaller ones.
- WHO WINS? Amazon is still on top due to the sheer number of products available, but that could change depending on future expansion of Walmart's NextDay service.
- Read more about Amazon Prime Free One Day by tapping or clicking here
- Read more about Walmart NextDay by tapping or clicking here
Delivery services feel the heat
With the back-and-forth between Amazon and Walmart, the pressure is also mounting on some delivery services - especially since Amazon is moving further into the delivery business. That's one of the reasons that just days ago, FedEx announced it'll be making seven-day residential delivery a year-round service.
Delivering seven days a week is a service FedEx previously offered only during the holidays. Now it's about keeping up with online shoppers throughout the year.
FedEx also plans to take back about 2 million SmartPost home deliveries that are currently being made by the U.S. Postal Service as a way to make its drivers more efficient. It'll begin integrating those deliveries this fall, but you'll still have to wait for seven-day service. That's not set to go into effect until the beginning of next year.
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