Procrastinators rejoice! Amazon announced today that it will offer free one-day shipping for thousands of products, including electronics, video games and jewelry, until the end of the day on Wednesday, December 22. (Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos pictured right.)
Clearly, Amazon is trying to continue the success online retailers saw on Free Shipping Day (December 17), which ended up being the biggest day for only retail ever.
To receive the shipping discount, you must ship your order to a single address and make sure that the items in the order qualify for free one-day shipping. For most items, Amazon guarantees shipping before Christmas (I assume that’s part of what qualifies items for the free shipping offer).
The offer will save consumers quite a bit of cash, as one-day shipping is normally an expensive option from Amazon. Even those subscribed to Amazon’s Prime service, which grants users free two-day shipping year-round for $79 per year, will be able to save. Prime users normally pay $3.99 per item for next-day shipping.
Last year, Amazon offered free one-day shipping around the same holiday period for its Kindle ebook reader. This time around, it looks like the Kindle doesn’t qualify for free one-day shipping. It also looks like sales of the $139 WiFi-only Kindle are going well, as Amazon can no longer guarantee shipping the device in time for Christmas.
The move is an interesting volley in the free shipping wars among online retailers. In November, Walmart announced that it will be offering free shipping on over 60,000 items. Amazon is clearly leveraging its position as America’s largest online retailer to keep customers from straying. The free one-day shipping deal will cost Amazon quite a bit, but it will likely make up for that loss with increased consumer good will.