Amazon is often cited as a disrupter in the online retail market, being one of the first to successfully establish themselves on the Internet as a legitimate retailer for the common American. The company continued to evolve, introducing free shipping, Prime membership and even the Amazon Dash button. In the spirit of that desire to resist stagnation, Amazon launched Prime Now one-hour delivery services in Manhattan back in December of 2014. This week, it expanded its Prime Now service to two new markets.
On August 25, Amazon rolled out it's one-hour delivery service, Prime Now, to the Seattle market, marking its 8th major U.S. market and 10th globally. The delivery service remains exclusively available to its $99-a-year Prime membership customers, and will cost $7.99 per order. The company is also offering free two-hour delivery to Prime members. The order minimums are $20.
Prime Now will only carry about 25,000 products, mostly items that are easily forgotten and need to be quickly replaced. It will also include food products, wine and beer. The company will ship the products from two hubs, one in Seattle and one in Kirkland. Amazon employees and contract workers will be responsible for deliveries, which will be made primarily by vehicles, though the company notes bicycle and foot delivery will be options as well.
The company also expanded the service to Portland, OR, and many of the main details remained the same. Amazon will be offering the service to Prime members only between the hours of 8 a.m. and 10 p.m., and will allow grocery orders from New Seasons Market, World Foods, Uwajimaya and Cupcake Jones. It does not appear that beer and wine will be available through the service for this market.
Always looking for new ways to expand their brand, the company is allegedly testing a restaurant delivery service with it's own employees in Seattle, as reported by GeekWire. The company hasn't released many details or how many restaurants are participating in the test, but it appears to be related to the new Amazon Prime Now one-hour delivery service expansion.