Amazon is offering free shipping with no minimum purchase

05 November, 2018, 23:03 | Author: Teresa Adams
  • David Paul Morris  Bloomberg  Getty Images

Amazon is getting ready for the holiday season in a big way.

With the all-important holiday season kicking off around Thanksgiving later this month, retailers are jockeying for customers' dollars and hoping to outpace Amazon, which takes up almost 50 cents of each dollar spent online in the US.

Amazon.com Inc AMZN.O said on Monday it would offer free shipping with no purchase minimum for the first time this holiday season, heating up the competition with Walmart Inc WMT.N and other rivals vying for customers' Christmas shopping. That leaves Walmart as one of the only remaining e-commerce giants requiring a purchase minimum for free two-day shipping. Despite the longer shipping times for its new free shipping promotion, Amazon says it will have the "largest free shipping selection in the country".

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Retailers are competing hard for holiday shoppers, who increasingly expect fast and free shipping.

Amazon's stock was trading lower during Monday's session. As usual, there will also be thousands of "Lightning Deals" - products available at a discount, in limited quantities, for a short period of time - with new deals becoming available as often as every five minutes.

Instead of the usual $25 order minimum before shipping and taxes, Amazon is offering free shipping almost all orders shipped and sold by Amazon. Retail sales this holiday season are expected to rise by as much as 4.8 percent in 2018, according to the National Retail Federation, as the US economy continues to strengthen.

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The offer will be incredibly beneficial for Amazon, and although it has more than 100 million Prime subscribers, a majority of its customers continue to be non-Prime subscribers.

In addition, Amazon said the number of items available for free same-day delivery to Prime members now tops 3 million.

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