Amazon Expands Same-Day Delivery to More Cities

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

If you don’t like to wait for things, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) feels your pain and wants to help. Starting Thursday, the online retailer will take several steps to put orders in the hands of customers as quickly as possible. Amazon is adding Dallas and San Francisco to the list of cities where same-day delivery is available, as well as shifting back the cut-off time for customers to place orders for same-day deliveries in select cities.

For instance, customers in Phoenix previously had to place orders by 9:30 a.m. to receive the items the same day. Now customers in Phoenix, San Francisco, and other cities can place orders as late as 12:15 p.m., and Amazon promises the shipments will arrive by 9 p.m. that night. Amazon is also lowering the price for same-day deliveries. In some cities customers can pay $5.99 for up to 150 pounds of goods to arrive the same day. Previously, each individual item in the shipment would cost $3.99 for the same service.

Not all items are available for same-day delivery, so Amazon is also making it easier to find the ones that are, by adding new search filters and a section called “Local Express Delivery.” Additionally, they’re reducing the price of same-day delivery service for Amazon Prime members.

All of these moves are in line with Amazon’s recent push to expedite their services as much as possible — and thereby make it less likely that customers will drop into a local store to pick up items they need. Just last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon is testing out a delivery service of its own that could end up competing with UPS, FedEx, and the U.S. Postal Service. This service, which is being tested in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York, would give Amazon more control over the customer experience from start to finish, and could save the company lots of money in shipping costs. Former Amazon executives said that a widespread rollout of any such delivery service won’t likely happen for years to come.

The company has discussed even stranger plans that may also come to pass eventually. One idea that made headlines recently was Amazon’s plan to deliver packages using unmanned drones, which could significantly cut down on wait times for customers. They also patented something called “anticipatory package shipping” which, based on your buying history, would begin sending items to your house even before you placed an order. While these plans may sound like science fiction, if any company would try to make them a reality, it’s probably Amazon.

However, we’re a long way from such fast shipping becoming a reality for everyone. Same-day delivery is only available in a handful of cities, and it’s still hard to imagine the days when drone helicopters will ring your doorbell to hand you a package of socks your ordered. Even in cities that have same-day delivery, it can take almost all day for the package to arrive. It may always be faster to run to a local store to buy something, even if it’s not more convenient.

Still, for people who want their online orders as quickly as possible, no company is doing more to realize their dreams than Amazon.