Using speedy shipping at no cost for a minimum purchase price has given Amazon.com a sales boost. Amazon Prime takes the concept a step further. Unlike its previously successful shipping strategy, there’s no need for consumers to consolidate items in order to meet minimum prices. Too, membership in the company’s “All You Can Eat” express shipping offer can be extended to as many as four family members living in the same household.
Further, Amazon.com will ship qualifying items overnight for a $3.99 per item charge and they may be ordered as late as 6:30 pm Eastern Time. Qualifying items are indicated by order buttons next to their listings for either free member standard shipping or the $3.99 overnight charge.
Copy on the Amazon.com web site says that the company expects the new service to up to be costly in the short run but pay off in encouraging more purchases in the long run. As its fourth quarter and 2004 year ending financial results show, net sales for 2004 were $6.92 billion, up 31% from its 2003 total of $5.26 billion.