Amazon have doubled the minimum amount that customers will have to spend before their order is eligible for free delivery in the UK.
Customers will now have to spend £20 on goods across the Amazon site before shipping costs are covered.
The move comes after the company reported a loss of £36 million in the last quarter.
Originally Amazon had no minimum spend for its Super Saver Delivery package when it launched in 2009. It wasn’t until 2013 that a £10 minimum spend was imposed on shoppers hoping for free delivery.
Amazon’s free delivery is estimated to come within 3-5 days, but they have previously been under fire for ‘misleading’ customers regarding their premium next-day delivery service. In 2012, The Advertising Standards Authority found that a number of Amazon customers had complained after their parcel had not reached them the day after ordering.
Amazon defended themselves by stating that the delivery service ensured parcels would be shipped in the next ‘business day’ and that customers would receive a guaranteed delivery date upon placing their order, which would not necessarily be the exact next day.
Yet it was determined that Amazon did not make it clear enough what it meant by ‘next-day’ delivery. The watchdog also highlighted that it could not make such bold promises because it used certain courier services that took 1 or 2 days to complete deliveries as standard.
Premium price of shipping
Amazon Prime, a premium service offered by the company, now offers standard shipping and 2-day shipping free of charge to members. The package costs £79 per year and waived shipping fees are amongst numerous benefits for online shoppers.
Whilst Amazon keeps its records completely private, in 2013 a report by Morningstar analyst R.J. Hottovy predicted that the Amazon Prime customer base was well over 10 million members strong, and that they contributed around a third of Amazon’s operating income.
It has been suggested that the latest move to increase the minimum spend is another shot at bringing in more Amazon Prime customers.
Marketing manager for Parcel2Go.com, Robert Mead, had plenty to say on the matter: “Consumers are becoming increasingly expectant, and many now simply assume that their goods will be with them the next day.
“It’s up to businesses to react to this and provide the best delivery services possible. The cost of delivery can be a deal breaker for many consumers, so the pressure is on brands to keep courier costs down to a minimum.”