Amazon.com is speeding up delivery times for small items such as USB cables and smartphone protectors. Merchants were notified earlier this week that these smaller, flat items would now be delivered to Amazon Prime members within five business days — down from eight previously. Other marketplaces, including Alibaba and eBay, can take anywhere from two weeks to 30 days to deliver similar products. This is another step in Amazon’s continuing push to help overseas manufacturers and suppliers sell directly to U.S. shoppers.
Total Retail’s Take: This move comes just two months after Amazon cut fees for its Fulfillment by Amazon Small and Light program. The program, started a year ago, offers shoppers free shipping with no minimum order size on thousands of popular small items that are usually inexpensive. Also through Amazon’s ePacket program, Chinese merchants are able to ship directly to U.S. shoppers because of an agreement between the U.S. Postal Service and China Post that provides Chinese merchants cheap rates on small packages weighing as much as 4.4 pounds. Amazon gets less money this way, so it pitches quick delivery to encourage suppliers to ship to company warehouses in the U.S. Now that it offers five-day delivery from overseas, Amazon is winning the hearts of both consumers and suppliers.