Amazon drops its $25 free shipping minimum for holidays

Amazon drops its $25 free shipping minimum for holidays

Target last month said it would offer free two-day shipping on hundreds of thousands of items, with no minimum order size, from November 1 to December 22 - a move created to keep customers looking to shop online from defecting to rivals like Amazon or Walmart, which both charge for expedited shipping.

As always, Amazon will offer a mix of all-day discounts and "Lightning Deals", which are only available for a limited amount of time - or until the product sells out.

This is the first time Amazon is offering such an offer, though the company had free shipping for orders over $25 previous year.

It marks the first time Amazon has removed the minimum order requirement for its free super-saver shipping tier. Even though over half of all USA households now have Prime memberships, Amazon would undoubtedly like to convert even more consumers to paid subscribers.

The credit ratings agency noted that in the fourth quarter of 2017 alone Amazon's shipping costs amounted to $7.4 billion. Retail sales this holiday season are expected to rise by as much as 4.8 percent in 2018, according to the National Retail Federation, as the USA economy continues to strengthen.

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For now, non-Prime U.S. customers can use Amazon and not pay for postage. The spokeswoman said the company expects to announce that cutoff date later, after assessing customer demand and its logistics network.

Monday's news will add to pressure on Walmart and Target Corp TGT.N , which in recent years have chipped away at Amazon's lead with their own offers of free two-day shipping.

And Prime members will be able to take advantage of Prime Wardrobe which is essentially a try before you buy service from the retail giant.

It intensifies the war for online customers this holiday, and comes after Target announced free two-day shipping for all customers for the holiday.

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