Amazon Ups the Competition With Free Shipping for the Holidays

Amazon is making every effort to win over shoppers’ holiday dollars.

Starting today, the e-tail giant is offering free shipping to all United States-based customers — and not just those who are Prime members. For a limited time, Amazon is nixing its $25 minimum order amount for hundreds of millions of products including toys, electronics, home goods and fashion accessories that will arrive just in time for Christmas.

Prime members get the added perk of shopping free same-day delivery on more than 3 million eligible items as well as unlimited free two-day shipping on more than 100 million items. They also benefit from Amazon-owned supermarket chain Whole Foods Market, receiving grocery deliveries in as little as an hour across 60 cities for those last-minute Thanksgiving dinner needs.

The move furthers the competition with rival Target, which has also chosen to waive its $35 minimum and is offering customers free two-day shipping until Dec. 22. Walmart, on the other hand, has maintained its $35 threshold.

In April, Amazon announced that it was raising the price of its annual Prime membership from $99 to $119, citing the service’s rising costs. Prior to its first-quarter earnings call, Amazon disclosed in a letter to shareholders that the number of Prime subscribers exceeds 100 million around the world.

Amazon has recently made headlines for raising the minimum wage to $15 for more than 250,000 full-time, part-time and temporary employees. It also opened its first brick-and-mortar concept store in New York City called Amazon 4-Star, which offers products that have been rated four stars and higher, as well as new and trending items on its website.

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