- There has been a running joke that Amazon is eventually going to acquire the USPS in order to cut their delivery costs, and after the news that occurred today I'm not so sure it's a joke. Amazon has added new shipping options in the US, and they've also bought a share in another delivery company today, this time in France.
TechCrunch is reporting that Amazon owns a quarter share in Colis Prive:
E-commerce giant Amazon has reportedly made its first investment into the French market: it has acquired a 25% stake in Colis Privé, a delivery company that competes in France against the likes of state-owned La Poste, and global giants TNT, DHL, UPS and FedEx to deliver parcels. The news was first reported by the French blog le Journal du Net, and we are reaching out to both companies for confirmation. (TechCrunch)
Colis Prive is the second delivery service to benefit from Amazon's attention; Amazon also acquired a small stake in UK-based Yodl in March 2014. Amazon is estimated to ship around 50 million packages a year in France, putting them about twice as large as Colis Prive, which delivered 25 million packages in 2012.
Clearly in the UK and France Amazon is pursuing an acquisition strategy, and not launching their own delivery service like the one currently being tested in the US:
Speaking of the US, Amazon expanded the same-day delivery options in to a couple new markets. Customers in select parts of San Francisco and Dallas can now join shoppers in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, DC, NYC, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Phoenix in enjoying same day delivery on certain items. Orders placed before the deadline (it varies between cities) will be delivered that day (Teamsters, luck, and weather permitting).
Customers in Las Vegas, however, are going to miss out on the fun; that market has been dropped from the list (The Verge).
I myself live outside the delivery zone, so I can't enjoy this next bit. In addition to expanding same-day delivery into more markets, Amazon is also launching a new lower delivery fee for Prime members:
Amazon’s move to enhance its same-day shipping program will provide another benefit to Amazon Prime members, letting them receive eligible items on the same day for a flat $5.99 shipping fee per order, with no extra charges.
People who aren’t enrolled in Amazon Prime will pay an $8.99 fee plus another 99 cents per item. (Geekwire)
I will have to console myself with paying $3.99 to get something delivered overnight.
Amazon is getting a lot of attention for their attention with delivery, but it's worth keeping in mind that this kind of delivery service is nothing new. Department stores (aka the Amazon/Walmart of their time) in many US cities implemented same-day deliveries close to a century ago.
Amazon's main innovation was to offer more items and sell them online, rather than in a paper catalog.