Amazon.com, Inc. is cutting the delivery time of small items from China in a bid to compete with rival marketplaces helping Chinese manufacturers to sell directly to U.S. shoppers. A report from Bloomberg News suggests that the U.S. e-commerce giant informed sellers on Amazon.com that now small and inexpensive items – USB cables, smartphone screen protectors, cosmetics and other – would be delivered to Prime members within five business days, compared to eight days previously.
Speeding Up Small Items Delivery
The e-commerce company sent an email to merchants on Wednesday, informing them about the new reduced delivery times. The e-mail was obtained by Bloomberg. By cutting delivery times of small, inexpensive from China to five day, the online retailer is becoming a serious threat to marketplaces owned by Alibaba Group Holding, EBay and Wish.com. It can take up to 14 to 30 days to get delivery of such small items from China using above mentioned marketplaces, according to the report.
Amazon seems to be aware of a report, issued by EMarketer earlier this year, suggesting that U.S. online shoppers will spend about $30 billion this year on cross-border transactions, an increase of 10% from the last year.
Bloomberg reported that Amazon.com, Inc. is looking to differentiate itself from competitors in cross-border e-commerce. The company is improving the delivery system for small items to compete with from rival marketplaces that allows merchants from China to ship directly to U.S. shoppers through the ePacket program setup by the U.S. Postal Service and China Post. Under the program, Chinese merchants get cheap access to U.S. shoppers on small packages weighing as much as 4.4 pounds, according to the Bloomberg report.
Two months ago, Amazon cut shipping fees it charges merchants who sell items through the company’s Fulfillment-By-Amazon Small and Light program. The company introduced this program last year to offer shoppers free shipping with no minimum order size on thousands of popular small items, most of which cost $10 or less.
Amazon Has 63 Million Prime Members in the U.S.
According to a report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, Amazon has increased its total Prime membership in the U.S. by 19 million since July 2015.
The report shows that the online retailer has a total of 63 Prime members in the U.S., up from 44 million members since the end of 2015’s second quarter. The great news for the company is that these members are spending on average $1,200 per year, more than double of what non-members spend. According to researchers, 52% of Amazon’s U.S. customers are Prime members.
The e-commerce giant continues to expand. It is hiring more workers, building more warehouses, launching in foreign countries, as well as the company is experimenting with various shipping and delivery options.
Shares of Amazon.com, Inc. are up nearly 14% for the year. The stock has gained 57.21% during the past 12 months.