The new free shipping program, dubbed Fulfillment by Amazon Small and Light, will benefit customers and merchants.
As e-commerce shifts to m-commerce (the trend of using mobile devices to shop online), Internet retail giants like Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba are engaged in an all-out war for dominance. Yet, as Amazon grows its empire, eBay is struggling.
Although eBay is technically the largest marketplace in terms of the number of merchants, Amazon is enjoying an influx of merchants. According to the latest statistics, the number of merchants at Amazon has doubled in 2014. eBay, on the other hand, has plateaued.
Now, Amazon is determined to overthrow eBay. According to Bloomberg, Amazon has launched a new program called Fulfillment by Amazon Small and Light, which offers free shipping on thousands of small products, ranging from mobile phone accessories, crafts, and other goods.
Launched 13 weeks ago, Amazon’s latest program targets non-Amazon Prime members, allowing them to enjoy free shipping on small items that are below the minimum amount previously required by Amazon—customers had to spend at least $35 to qualify for free shipping. However, it’s unclear whether Amazon is planning to launch the program outside the United States.
Furthermore, the program covers products that weigh no more than 8 ounces or 230 grams. Deliveries, according to Bloomberg, will take around four to eight business days. Amazon’s new shipping facility in Florence, Kentucky will act as the hub for the program.
The Fulfillment by Amazon Small and Light is expected to benefit merchants as well. When Amazon tested the program 13 weeks ago, the company witnessed a surge in sales on small items. “Customers love that even if it’s a $5 item, shipping is free for everybody, Prime member or not,” Neil Ackerman, a senior manager at Amazon, said in an interview. “Customers love it and sellers love it.”
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