Prime Now location in Seattle may offer order collection, crowdsourced deliveries
Amazon is allegedly looking into offering another way for customers to receive their orders, by collecting it from Amazon itself. A building in Kirkland expected to be the base for future Prime Now deliveries in the Seattle area is also displaying signs for an unannounced service called Amazon Flex, believed to be either a way for customers to pick up orders directly, or possibly for some form of crowdsourced delivery system.
Staples starts selling Amazon Echo connected speaker through online store
The Amazon Echo, the network-connected speaker hosting the retailer's Alexa assistant, has gone on sale through a third-party store for the first time. Staples is offering the cylindrical speaker through its website to all customers priced at $180, the same as Amazon. So far, it can only be acquired through the Staples website, with delivery to local stores available as a shipping option, though there is still the potential to sell it from stores directly.
Spring expands Direct 2 You deliveries to four new markets
Sprint is bringing its Direct 2 You home delivery and set-up service to two new markets. The latest major expansion of the service, Sprint will now be delivering smartphones and transferring files and user settings between old and new devices in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Denver. This brings the total number of cities covered by Direct 2 You to 28, with it expected to roll out to more locations throughout the rest of this year.
New program has Sprint representatives offering in-home guidance for new smartphone purchases
Sprint is starting a new program which aims to bring the retail experience to the customer's doorstep. Direct 2 You is best described as a mix between home delivery and visiting a Sprint store, with carrier representatives not only delivering orders to customers directly, but also taking the time to offer initial usage support as well as migrating customer data between devices.
Amazon expands Prime Now one-hour deliveries to Dallas
Amazon Prime Now, the retailer's high-speed delivery service, is opening up in Dallas. Just as with its other Prime Now locations, Prime subscribers in the fourth location will be able to use a mobile app on iOS and Android to place orders for groceries and household goods, between 8am and 10pm seven days a week, with TechCrunch reporting it still costs $8 for one-hour deliveries, while two-hour deliveries are free.
OnePlus alters price of One smartphone in Europe over exchange rate changes
OnePlus is raising the prices of its OnePlus One smartphone in Europe, due to euro exchange rate changes causing the smartphone to be sold at a slight loss. While accessories will cost the same as before, the 16GB Silk White edition of the smartphone will increase to €299 ($320), while the 64GB Sandstone Black model will cost €349 ($370), with the new pricing kicking in from March 25.
Prime customers can pay for one-hour delivery, get two-hour deliveries free
After experimenting with same-day deliveries in a number of cities, Amazon is now increasing the speed of delivery for some customers with the launch of Prime Now. The new service, launching in Manhattan today, will let Prime subscribers place orders for thousands of essential items, and receive the delivery on their doorstep in an hour or less.
Amazon delivery pick-up locations in the United Kingdom exceeds 16,000
Amazon has made two announcements relating to services provided to its customers, on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. In the United Kingdom, the retailer is increasing the number of delivery pick-up locations in time for the holidays, while customers buying certain products in the United States will be alerted to installation services in the local area.
Name change for same-day delivery service, new payment options offered
Google is expanding the reach of its same-day delivery service into more areas, as well as making a change to its name. Formerly known as Google Shopping Express, the new Google Express will open out from its existing San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, and Los Angeles operations, to cover people located in Chicago, Boston, and Washington, D.C.
Shipping firm testing regular deliveries of supplies to island using drones
While companies such as Amazon and Google are exploring ways to use drones for deliveries in the future, DHL is starting to use the autonomus flying machines for some deliveries in Germany as part of a trial. The shipping company will be using a drone to transport packages to Juist, an island located in the North Sea which is home to around 1,700 inhabitants.
Test taking place in Santa Monica, offers daily lunch item in three-hour window
Ride share service Uber is apparently looking to expand into some other functions, as the company is testing a service dubbed UberFresh starting today. The program is attempting to deliver lunch to people in a short time frame, utilizing a menu specific to the area being tested. The service is only being offered for a limited time, but a successful test could mean the program would be expanded further.
First Amazon Prime Air service could operate in Mumbai, Bangalore
Amazon's Prime Air drone delivery service will initially launch in India, according to a report. The retailer is allegedly preparing the service, which uses an army of automated flying drones to carry light parcels, to operate out of its warehouses in Mumbai and Bangalore, with a view to getting it up and operational this October.
Uber users can order from list of products for delivery to their location
Uber is testing potential delivery services again, by providing customers with goods from local retail outlets. Named Uber Corner Store, the experimental retail service will let Uber users request products from a list of over 100 items through the app, delivered shortly afterward to the customer by one of Uber's own fleet of drivers.
Caviar purchase fills out Square restaurant service range
Payment processing service Square has acquired a food delivery service. The purchase, estimated to be worth around $90 million in stock, sees Square take control of Caviar, a start-up delivery firm which allows restaurants and other food-related establishments to offer deliveries of orders to customers, even if the business does not typically offer any delivery service at all.
Averages 2.3 days to process and deliver, beating Amazon, clothing stores
Customer service analytics company StellaService has released a new report that ranks Apple as number one for online delivery speed, up from an eighth-place ranking in April. The iPhone maker captured the top spot for the first time in June with an average processing-and-delivery time of just 2.3 days, beating mostly online clothing outlets such as Abercrombie, Zappos, Nike and others. In a separate study that ranked all aspects of customer service, Apple was topped by J. Crew and Mr Porter.
French free delivery book ban circumvented with extremely-low Amazon delivery cost
Amazon is countering a law in France banning free shipping, by charging customers a single euro cent ($0.01) for orders. The law, put in place by the French government in an attempt to protect smaller bookstores from being squeezed out of the marketplace by the online retailer, is being circumvented by the technicality, with French lawmakers seemingly unable to hamper Amazon's sales efforts.
Anticipatory shipping patent directs products to customers mid-delivery
Amazon may start shipping items to customers before an order is completed in the future, if a recently-granted patent is anything to go by. The patent by the retailer for a "Method and system for anticipatory package shipping" was granted on Christmas Eve, with the proposed system potentially lowering the delivery times for customer orders.
Same-day fresh produce delivery from Amazon costs $299 per year
Amazon has expanded its five-year-old grocery delivery service to San Francisco. Previously only available in Seattle and Los Angeles, AmazonFresh provides groceries and other fresh produce to customers with either same or next-day delivery, as the online retailer continues to expand its range of services and delivery options.
eBay Now's same-day delivery service free until Christmas Eve
Auction site eBay announced today that its local shopping and delivery service, eBay Now, is offering free delivery from now until Christmas Eve on orders more than $25. The eBay Now service is available for customers in San Francisco and the Bay Area, San Jose, parts of New York City and Chicago for delivery of local products within an hour of ordering online.
Proposal could make use of 260 expected ticket office closures
Amazon is in discussions with Transport for London (TfL) to turn ticket offices for the London Underground system into delivery drop-off points, according to a report. Details of the talks surfaced after London mayor Boris Johnson revealed plans to make the Underground operate 24 hours per day by 2015, while also closing the majority of ticket offices in the network.
Customers in New York, Los Angeles can receive orders on a Sunday
Amazon will start offering deliveries of orders to customers on Sunday, thanks to an unusual deal with the US Postal Service. Customers in metropolitan areas will be able to place orders on a Friday for arrival on the Sunday, and is the latest move by the online retailer to provide more delivery options for its customers.
Same-day delivery option coming to New York, Dallas, San Francisco
Verizon Wireless is starting to offer customers that order online the option to receive their devices the same day. The delivery scheme, which rolls out in Philadelphia today, will see customers able to place an order through the website by 10am and have the in-stock item delivered to the customer's home by 7pm that day.
Pilot scheme adds eBay collection points to 150 Argos stores
Auction site eBay is launching a in-store pickup service in the United Kingdom, as well as expanding its eBay Now same-day delivery scheme outside of the United States. A partnership with retailer Argos will allow eBay users to order from 50 merchants and have goods delivered to a store, which in the case of the Click & Collect pilot, consists of 150 Argos branches across the country.
Locker delivery from Amazon does not meet Staples criteria
Amazon Lockers are being pulled from Staples and RadioShack stores, after both brick-and-mortar retailers decided to pull out of the agreements. The removal of the units, which allows customers to ship deliveries to code-locked storage systems based in nearby stores rather than to their home or work, comes just under a year after they were installed.
Rogers launches Wireless Home Phone service using cellular network
Rogers has launched a new service, providing a home or small business phone service over its wireless network instead of through a standard wireline connection. The $29.99 Wireless Home Phone device connects to the Canadian carrier's network, provides ports for a cordless or corded phone, and is able to make and receive calls through the carrier's Wireless Home Phone plan for $10 per month.
No plans to offer streaming video with Prime in Canada
Amazon has launched its lauded subscription-based Prime delivery service in Canada. The all-you-can-eat delivery service offers users free two-day delivery across the country, though it offers a more stripped-down version of the retailer's own offering in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Prime reverted to yearly-only charging
Amazon has stopped offering its customers a monthly payment option for its Prime service. The company recently included an option for US customers to pay $8 per month instead of $80 per year for the two-day delivery and Prime Instant Video streaming service, but has since switched it back to yearly-only.
Monthly option more expensive, easier to afford
Amazon is testing out a different payment system for its Prime service. Traditionally set at $80 per year, the unlimited free two-day delivery service has been changed to allow for a monthly payment of $8 instead of a lump sum. While easier for customers to pay, opting away from the yearly payment works out to be almost $17 more expensive.
USPS creating experimental Metro Post
The United States Postal Service (USPS) plans to start performing same-day deliveries. A filing to the Postal Regulatory Commission tells of an experimental service called Metro Post, designed for online retailers to provide same-day deliveries of goods to customers in metropolitan areas.