In the on-going race to be the first at consumers' doors, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is testing out two new delivery strategies. The e-commerce giant recently began testing package delivery by taxi in Los Angeles and San Francisco using Flywheel, a taxi-hailing mobile app. And in Canada, the retailer is offering same-day delivery for shoppers in Toronto and Vancouver.
According to sources familiar with the matter, Amazon is testing the use of taxis as a delivery vehicle as it races to compete in the world of fast shipments, reported The Wall Street Journal. With the holiday season upon us, Amazon, like most retailers, hopes to avoid the shipping delays that were experienced last year. In these efforts, Amazon has already launched other programs to try and allay shipping issues, including the launch of a physical store in Manhattan for returns, pickups and same-day delivery dispatch.
Amazon summons cabs through its Flywheel app to mini-distribution centers before loading them with as many as 10 packages bound for a single ZIP code. The cost was about $5 a package for delivery within one hour.
The tests were typically done in the early morning when cabs had fewer fares and were less likely to be noticed.
Amazon is also testing its same-day delivery service in Toronto and Vancouver if the shipment is ordered before 12 p.m., reported TechCrunch. The cost for same-day delivery is $6.99 per order for Prime members, and $11.99 for non-Prime members mid-week. Saturday shipping is more expensive and there is no shipping Sundays. The deliveries will arrive by 9 p.m.
Amazon continues to battle with Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), eBay, Deliv and other companies in the same-day delivery realm. Google Express offers same-day delivery for retailers such as Target (NYSE: TGT), Whole Foods (NASDAQ: WFM) and Costco (NASDAQ: COST). EBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) already offers one-hour delivery in five U.S. cities.
*This story originally appeared in FierceMobileRetail's sister publication, FierceRetail.
-See this The Wall Street Journal article
-See this TechCrunch article
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