Amazon Gains Advantage in 7-Day Delivery Deal with USPS
By Ina Steiner
The United States Postal Service will begin delivering Amazon packages on Sundays beginning with two cities. The new service is kicking off in Los Angeles and New York metropolitan areas, and Amazon said the new service would roll out to a "large portion of the U.S. population" next year, including Dallas, Houston, New Orleans and Phoenix.
Its deal with Amazon.com is not exclusive - the Postal Service expects to offer the service to other merchants, according to the New York Times. In the meantime, however, Amazon.com gains an enormous advantage over other merchants, giving shoppers another reason to order from Amazon.
The USPS had previously announced plans to extend package delivery to Sundays at the same time it wants to eliminate delivery of letters on Saturdays. In Amazon's announcement on Monday, it quoted Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe saying the Postal Service was happy to offer shippers like Amazon the option of having packages delivered on Sunday as online shopping continues to increase. "With this new service, the Postal Service is now delivering packages seven days a week in select cities. Customers can expect the same reliable and valued service that the Postal Service currently provides."
Amazon.com is limiting the new delivery option to Amazon Prime members. To participate, Amazon customers add eligible items to their cart and will see the Sunday delivery promise at checkout if and when available in their region.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon will also begin Sunday delivery in London later this month using its own trucks.
The Postmaster General had announced plans to offer Sunday package delivery in an interview at the beginning of the year, though he did not provide details at the time. Sellers reacting to the news in February seemed more concerned with being able to ship packages on Saturdays than having recipients receive packages on a Sunday. Some said they actually appreciated the one-day a week breathing room Sundays provided.
The USPS Board of Governors is scheduled to meet Friday to discuss its full year financials.
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About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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