Amazon.com Inc., No. 1 in the Internet Retailer 2018 Top 1000, on Thursday introduced a new delivery option for members of its Prime loyalty program that enables them to select a day of the week to be their delivery date for their Amazon orders. Members can choose other shipping options for any items they don’t want included as part of their shipment.
The option, which Amazon calls Amazon Day, aims to make it easier to get a shopper’s orders grouped and delivered together and, in some cases, in fewer packages.
Amazon is positioning the move as a sustainability initiative that’s part of its effort to achieve “shipment zero,” which is the retailer’s plan to make all Amazon shipments net zero carbon, with half of all shipments net zero by 2030. However, it also stands to benefit the retail giant by reducing the number of deliveries that drivers have to make to the same address. And it could appeal to consumers who worry about so-called porch pirates who steal their online orders by allowing them to receive packages on a day that they’re home.
“From Amazon’s perspective, while this move is admirable in potentially reducing the company’s carbon footprint, this move is also about reducing shipping costs,” says Danielle Roberts, senior product manager at cloud commerce technology provider Kibo. “It’s common knowledge that Amazon loses money on two-day shipping, yet it is willing to take that loss to win market share and drive out competition. However, eventually Amazon will need an exit strategy from this exponential growth strategy and toward profitability. If this Amazon Day model catches on with enough customers, it could make a big step in that direction. Amazon is making a bet that a significant number of their shoppers will find this service more convenient than two-day shipping.”
While the program is only available to Prime members, that’s a sizable share of U.S. households; Amazon had 101 million members of its Prime loyalty program in the United States as of December, according to new estimates from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP).