Amazon drops its $25 free shipping minimum for holidays

David Paul Morris  Bloomberg  Getty Images

David Paul Morris Bloomberg Getty Images

Normally, customers who aren't in the Amazon Prime program would need to order a minimum of $25 worth of qualifying items to get free shipping. It's the first time Amazon has made such an offer without a minimum order requirement.

Amazon says it will offer free holiday shipping to all of its customers on hundreds of millions of items, a potentially costly competitive move created to keep pace with similar moves by the company's retail rivals. Offering up free shipping with no minimum could be an attempt to gain more Prime users, but it also may be a tactic to ensure that competitors such as Walmart are less likely to take away sales.

This offer applies to hundreds of millions of items, and it'll work on orders that will arrive in time for Christmas.

"Amazon's move to give free shipping for all this holiday supports [the] thesis that retailers are catching up on Amazon with supply chain speed, fulfillment and delivery", Konik wrote. Even though over half of all U.S. households now have Prime memberships, Amazon would undoubtedly like to convert even more consumers to paid subscribers.

Amazon isn't the only merchant slashing shipping fees.

For the current quarter ending in December, Amazon said it expects revenue in the range of $66.5 billion to $72.5 billion.

The National Retail Foundation forecasts holiday retail sales will climb by up to 4.8% compared to a year ago.

Amazon Prime members, including customers enjoying a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime, will have an exclusive 30-minute early access period to all Lightning Deals.

Prime members in the United States do get a holiday perk, however.

Prime Wardrobe will allow customers to have items delivered for "no extra cost", and after customers have tried the fashion products on, they are able to only pay for what they want to keep.

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