Amazon removes $25 free shipping hurdle for U.S. holiday shopping season

The move, is likely to significantly boost competition against Amazon’s competitors such as Walmart Inc and Target Corp.

On Monday, in an effort to surge past the competition from rivals, including Walmart inc, Amazon.com stated it would offer free shipping with no purchase minimum for this holiday shopping season.

Amazon’s U.S.-only promotion, effective from November 5, removes the minimum purchase price of $25 that customers outside Prime must shop for, in order to clinch free shipping.

The deal lasts until Amazon can no longer promise items in time for Christmas with free delivery, which typically takes five to eight business days.

Amazon’s move could help it sustain rapid sales growth in what is typically its biggest quarter.

The development is expected to pile intense pressure on its peers, such as Target Corp and Walmart Inc, which have gradually in recent years chipped away at Amazon’s lead with their own offers of free two-day shipping.

Walmart has maintained its $35 order threshold for this holiday season; Target has scrapped its minimum until December 22.

According to analysts estimate, a little more than half of all U.S. households have a Prime subscription. Prime continues to remain the cornerstone of Amazon’s business model as shoppers tend to buy more after they sign up for its loyalty Prime club.

Amazon’s free shipping is likely to apply to hundreds of millions of items on its platform as against hundreds of thousands on Target.

So far, it is unclear what would be the impact of free shipping on small-ticket items, which incidentally last month touted improvements in efficiency.

According to Amazon’s latest annual returns, its shipping costs have nearly doubled from 2015 to 2017 and reached $21.7 billion.

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