Amazon has been covertly increasing the minimum purchase threshold for some consumers in order to qualify for free shipping.
Some Amazon customers without Prime memberships must now spend $35, up from $25 previously, to be eligible for free deliveries. As initially reported by the site eCommerce Bytes, an Amazon official, Kristina Pressentin, acknowledged that the company is testing the new qualification.
Prime members who pay $14.99 per month or $139 annually for free delivery and other benefits are unaffected by the move. According to Pressentin, “We continually evaluate our offerings and make adjustments based on those assessments.”
According to the consumer education website Consumer World, the new $35 minimum appears to be applicable to clients for the time being dependent on where they live. It mentioned Seattle, where Amazon is based, as one of the cities where there is a $25 minimum, while nearby Bellevue requires non-Prime customers to pay $35 for free shipping.
The massive online retailer is making the change as part of a wider effort to reduce expenses throughout its operations. In the last year, the company has eliminated more than 27,000 corporate roles in addition to failing business units. Earlier last year, Microsoft discontinued providing Prime members with free grocery delivery on orders under $150.
Amazon has already increased the minimum order value to qualify for free shipping to as much as $49. In 2017, when Walmart was expanding its e-commerce business, it reduced it to $25. More customers may decide to pay the nearly $140 annual price to join Amazon’s Prime service in light of the evolving standards for free shipping. According to Amazon, there are more than 200 million Prime members across 25 countries.
Since the threshold testing is being done for zip code-based regions, the new policy will be applied to all orders placed in those regions. The action was taken after Amazon declared that July 11, 2023’s first Prime Day was “the single largest sales day in company history.”
Source: The Associate Press