Amazon Cutting Delivery Times From China
Amazon will be cutting its delivery times from China to U.S. consumers for small items to five days.
That contrasts with the eight days it took previously to get inexpensive items like computer cables and smartphone protectors in the hands of those who bought them. It’s also a further differentiator to other ecommerce merchants such as Alibaba and Ebay, which typically deliver items from China to the United States in 15 to 30 days.
The move is an appeal to Chinese manufacturers to exclusively use the Amazon selling platform and to U.S shoppers to buy through Amazon. Amazon already as the lion’s share of the U.S. ecommerce market by providing cheap and fast shipping to consumers, especially those subscribed to Amazon Prime. Chinese manufacturers are incentivized to reach tens of millions of U.S. Amazon loyalists by shipping directly to Amazon warehouses. Combined with Amazon’s recent shipping fee slashes for merchants, and the ecommerce titan has created not only a loyal base of consumers, but a loyal base of foreign manufacturers as well. The Amazon Small and Light program was introduced last year to offer shoppers free shipping with no minimum order size on thousands of popular small items, most of them with a price tag of $10 or less.
U.S. online shoppers will spend about $30 billion this year on crossborder transactions, 10 percent more than in 2015, with China the leading seller of those goods, according market research reports.
The Amazon move may come as a blow to its online competitors, sites like the China-based Alibaba, as well as Ebay and Wish.com, whose delivery promises don’t come close to what amazon is offering. It may also undercut rival delivery systems, such as the ePacket program, a joint venture between the U.S. Postal Service and China Post that provides Chinese merchants cheap access to the U.S. market for small packages weighing up to 4.4 pounds. Amazon makes less money on merchandise sold on its platform which are shipped through ePacket.
Amazon is also reportedly making these small items Prime eligible, a program which provides delivery discounts to members who pay $99 a year.
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