When you wanted your online orders to arrive quickly, the go-to for years was Amazon and its free (with membership) two-day Prime shipping — or even faster depending on where you live. But not anymore.
The long-standing foundation of how fast you get your packages delivered to your doorstep is undergoing radical change, and it's been happening over the course of just the past couple of months. In one corner, the reigning champ, Amazon. In the other is Walmart and each is constantly trying to one-up the other to win customers over.
Now, there's a new contender jumping into the ring to take on both Amazon and Walmart. And this major retailer wants to deliver your online orders the same day.
Amazon and Walmart's back-and-forth
Up until April 26, speedy package delivery was for the most part status quo, aside from the occasional noteworthy new feature. But on that fateful day in late April during its first-quarter earnings call, Amazon shook things up.
Amazon: "How about faster shipping?"
- On April 26, Amazon announced that Prime two-day shipping would soon become next-day shipping across most of the country.
Walmart: "Hold my Sam's Cola."
- Not to be outdone, on May 14 Walmart launched its own NextDay delivery service that's free with a $35 minimum purchase.
Amazon: "Oh yeah? Watch this ..."
- While Walmart's NextDay service is supposed to be available to 75% of the U.S. population by the end of this year, on June 3 Amazon rolled out Prime Free One Day delivery in most areas coast-to-coast. (Read more about the service and how it compares to Walmart's NextDay by clicking or tapping here)
Amazon: "... oh, and we have drones."
- That same week, Amazon completed its one-two punch when it showed off its new delivery drone, Prime Air, during its inaugural re:MARS conference. More than five years after Jeff Bezos first proclaimed his plan for drones, Amazon says it'll finally be in the skies making deliveries "within months."
Walmart: "Fine, we'll bring your groceries in AND put them in the fridge."
- Amazon already has a service that delivers packages inside your home, garage or car (called Amazon Key) but Walmart wants to take it a step further -- as in, a few steps further into your home. On June 7, Walmart announced that it'll not only bring your fresh groceries into your home, but it'll also put them in your refrigerator. Seriously, we might never have to get up from the couch again.
Target: "Hey guys, over here ..."
Targeting those other retailers
Now, here comes Target stepping into the ring, expanding its own same-day delivery on thousands of products. The best part is, some orders could be delivered in as little as an hour.
So let's back up because this isn't Target's first rodeo when it comes to same-day delivery. Back in 2017, Target purchased a company specializing in same-day delivery, Shipt, for about $550 million. After that, Target started offering same-day shipping through Shipt with a $99 annual membership or $14 month-to-month.
As of this week, same-day delivery is available directly through Target.com and without having to subscribe to the Shipt service. Instead, customers can choose from tens of thousands of eligible items and have them quickly delivered for a $9.99 fee per order — as long as it totals $35 or more.
There are about 65,000 eligible products available to be delivered from the following categories:
- Household Essentials
- Personal Care
- Kitchen & Dining
- School & Office Supplies
- Sports & Outdoors
- Storage & Organization
Of course, Target would love for you to subscribe to Shipt, so it's also offering a free four-week trial for the service along with a $15 gift card when you spend $100 or more (possibly a limited time offer). Learn more about Target's same-day delivery by tapping or clicking here.
Isn't it nice having so many options? Since late April, just look at every way online order delivery has evolved. It makes you wonder what it'll look like by the end of the year.
By the way, if you've worked up an appetite comparing the various options from Amazon, Walmart and Target, Uber Eats is also readying drones to deliver your fast food, well, faster. It looks like we're well on our way to never having to leave our homes to buy anything ever again.
As machines begin replacing Amazon workers, some encouraged to quit and start their own delivery business
Amazon is bringing in additional machines to get orders out to you more quickly, but it could come at the expense of people who work there. So the company has a new propoosition.