Amazon is going one step further than the one day delivery service it offers its Amazon Prime customers with the launch of a brand new service in America: Amazon Prime Now. Whereas Prime customers are given free one day delivery on all items shipped by Amazon as part of their yearly subscription fee, Amazon Prime Now customers have the option of choosing one hour delivery for "daily essentials and gifts" at an extra cost of $7.99 (£5.12). They will also be able to get all other items within two hours as part of their subscription.
At present, Amazon Prime Now is only available in a few American cities, including Dallas, Miami, and New York, and in their trialling of the service, Amazon have discovered that it is sometimes easier to deliver their one and two hour products using public transport, rather than braving the congested roads.
In New York, this has become especially commonplace, and now commuters using the subway are accustomed to seeing Amazon delivery employees riding the train to their delivery location. In central New York City, where the traffic is almost constantly very heavy, this makes perfect sense, and is another example of Amazon working around the conditions of its buyers to meet their demands. Their car boot delivery service and plans for drone delivery are other great examples of this, and also confirm the lengths they are going to in order to keep their customers. In addition, this is markedly similar to another eCommerce delivery method currently in testing, the Mole delivery system, which makes deliveries using an underground train network.
So what does this mean for eCommerce order fulfilment more generally?
Firstly, we can say that the introduction of even shorter delivery times fits with the general eCommerce trend of the moment: customers want their products faster than ever before, and in order to meet these targets, delivery fulfilment needs to be more flexible. In the future, this kind of delivery service and method will become more commonplace, as consumers want retailers and order fulfilment companies to work around their schedule, and not the other way around.