Amazon Unveils Central Air Hub to Speed One-Day Deliveries

Amazon unveiled its $1.5 billion air hub in northern Kentucky this week. The hub will serve as the “central nerve” of the company’s U.S. air cargo operations and aid in speeding up deliveries and having better control over logistics. Amazon Air, which debuted in 2016 as the company’s growing air cargo arm, operates in 40+ airports around the U.S. Its routes are flown by several contracted carriers. Now, the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport will allow Amazon to improve its one-day and same-day deliveries. Continue reading Amazon Unveils Central Air Hub to Speed One-Day Deliveries

Amazon Profits Rise as Do Fake Reviews and Inflated Ratings

Since the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Amazon added 50 million Prime members and made $26+ billion in profits. Also surging, however, are fake reviews that bolster ratings for vendors but sow mistrust among shoppers. Amazon made it easier to leave a rating, such as one-tap ratings that allow the consumer to submit a star rating without accompanying text, but the attempt to instill confidence among consumers has largely backfired. Amazon’s one-day shipping has also made it much harder for small businesses to survive the transition to online sales. Continue reading Amazon Profits Rise as Do Fake Reviews and Inflated Ratings

Amazon, Target, Walmart Ramp Up Their Delivery Services

Walmart launched Delivery Unlimited, which offers consumers a subscription grocery delivery service for $98 per year or $12.95 per month, with a 15-day trial period. Per-order fees run $9.95 or less. The new subscription service is priced competitively, with Shipt and Instacart charging $99 per year. Prime Now costs $119 per year, but touts all of the benefits of Amazon Prime, including fast shipping and streaming media content. Target, which bought Shipt, now offers shoppers same-day delivery and a first-time $9.99 per order fee.

Continue reading Amazon, Target, Walmart Ramp Up Their Delivery Services

Amazon Seeks Efficiency While Investing in New Businesses

After decades of unreliable profits, Amazon has had four consecutive quarters with profits over $1 billion, and a net income of $2.9 billion in Q3. Although the numbers exceeded analysts’ expectations, the e-commerce giant also revealed that revenue in its core retail business was below expectations, with sales up 29 percent to $56.6 billion, and sales in its online store rose only 11 percent over the last year, half the pace of a year ago. As a result, discontent investors recently dropped shares 7 percent in aftermarket trading. Continue reading Amazon Seeks Efficiency While Investing in New Businesses

Amazon’s Free Shipping Casts Shadow Over Smaller Retailers

As Amazon rapidly expands its free shipping, retailers are struggling to compete, looking to a range of fulfillment companies to help offer faster, less expensive delivery options. Amazon Prime provides two-day shipping on millions of items found on its site. Shipping companies such as FedEx, threatened by Amazon’s reach, have targeted smaller businesses, from startups to midsized national chains, that can’t compete with Amazon, Walmart and other big retailers spending billlions of dollars to speed-up delivery. Continue reading Amazon’s Free Shipping Casts Shadow Over Smaller Retailers

Online Retailers Follow Amazon Prime’s Lead in Fast Delivery

Online shoppers are now expecting their purchases to be delivered faster and cheaper, and online retailers are scrambling to meet the delivery demands of today’s consumers. According to a Deloitte survey, only 18 percent consider the standard five- to seven-day shipping “fast,” while more than 90 percent consider same-day to two-day delivery “fast.” Many shoppers aren’t willing to pay more for fast delivery either. Amazon Prime’s two-day shipping service set a new standard for retailers. Continue reading Online Retailers Follow Amazon Prime’s Lead in Fast Delivery

Walmart to Test New Shipping Service Similar to Amazon Prime

Walmart plans to launch a new loyalty program that will offer online customers unlimited free shipping for $50 per year. The program is half the cost of Amazon Prime, but does not include some of Prime’s popular perks such as streaming movies and TV shows, photo storage, and e-books. Walmart’s new service is part of a larger competition between retailers and e-commerce marketplaces for loyal customers. Walmart did not specify which markets will be part of the initial launch. Continue reading Walmart to Test New Shipping Service Similar to Amazon Prime

Google Takes On Amazon with its Same-Day Delivery Service

Google is becoming a major player in same-day package deliveries, taking on the likes of Amazon and eBay this holiday shopping season. The Google Express service — currently available in cities such as Boston, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco — handled 50 percent more toys during the two weeks after Thanksgiving, while book sales jumped more than 30 percent. Analysts estimate that up to 40 percent of Google’s core search business is tied to e-commerce. Continue reading Google Takes On Amazon with its Same-Day Delivery Service

Amazon Tests Delivery Options via Bike Messengers, Drones

Amazon’s latest experiment with its delivery service promises one-hour deliveries. The Amazon Prime Now service is being tested across New York City using a fleet of bike messengers. The program has plans to implement drop-off drones in the future. Amazon’s drone carriers, which could cut the one-hour delivery time in half, has yet to receive approval from the FAA for domestic use. Amazon joins companies such as Postmates, WunWun and Uber in the market for expedited delivery services. Continue reading Amazon Tests Delivery Options via Bike Messengers, Drones

Amazon Wheels Out Robots to Meet Holiday Shipping Demands

Two years ago, Amazon acquired robot manufacturer Kiva Systems for $775 million. The orange, wheeled robots have been used by a number of retailers in warehouses across the country. In an effort to improve efficiency, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has announced plans to deploy thousands of these robots across Amazon warehouses. The robot army is designed to bring stocked shelves to employees, reducing the time workers would have spent looking for items on their own.  Continue reading Amazon Wheels Out Robots to Meet Holiday Shipping Demands

Google Express Includes More Merchants During Expansion

Google Express has added three new cities: Chicago, Boston, and Washington, D.C. This means that seven million people can now use same-day delivery across all of the cities involved. Meanwhile, 12 million people can access next-day service in Northern California. In addition, Google has added 16 new merchants over the past few months. Shoppers that become Google Express members can now receive free same-day or overnight delivery on orders over $15. Continue reading Google Express Includes More Merchants During Expansion

Amazon May Open its First Physical Store in New York City

E-commerce giant Amazon reportedly has plans to open its first brick-and-mortar store in the heart of New York City. The company’s new space on 34th Street across from the Empire State Building may likely be used as a mini warehouse that will handle same-day delivery, product returns, and pick-ups of online orders. A physical store is expected to help provide faster service and delivery for New Yorkers in addition to building more brand recognition for the online-based company. Continue reading Amazon May Open its First Physical Store in New York City