Over the last several years, Amazon has been building up its fulfillment and delivery infrastructure at a rapid pace, opening new fulfillment centers and increasingly relying on its own drivers for last-mile delivery of Amazon orders.
Many retailers and analysts have speculated that Amazon was positioning itself to act as a full-fledged delivery carrier—which would compete with the three major carriers, including FedEx, UPS and USPS.
An article in the Wall Street Journal today suggests that Amazon is beginning to do just that. The world’s largest online retailer reportedly plans to launch “Shipping with Amazon,” a service that would deliver online orders for Amazon marketplace sellers. The program is set to launch in Los Angeles within weeks, and the retailer plans to expand to other markets and to deliver online orders for other merchants.
(Internet Retailer was unable to independently verify Amazon’s plans.)
Analysts say the announcement, while an important development to merchants and carriers alike, is not a surprise.
“Amazon already employs contract drivers for last-mile delivery, and has experimented with services where Amazon facilitates the delivery of products held in third-party stores/warehouses,” Colin Sebastian, a managing director and e-commerce analyst at R.W. Baird & Co., writes in a note to investors today. “Shipping with Amazon represents a natural extension of [third-party] logistics services, particularly in markets where Amazon has the delivery density to offer a competitively-priced alternative to [UPS and FedEx].”
In light of this reported development, Internet Retailer seeks to get an early look at how online retailers might consider adjusting their delivery strategies should Amazon enter the mix as a potential delivery carrier. Please take two minutes to fill out the below survey.
All responses are anonymous, though there is an opportunity to submit your comments on this development should you want to be interviewed or quoted in an Internet Retailer article describing the results.
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