Amazon raises free shipping minimum in boost for ecommerce firms

Amazon Delivery Van
(Image credit: Amazon)

Amazon is increasing the free shipping limit by a whopping 40% for some customers as it looks to make its operations more cost-effective.

According to some areas of its website (via CNBC), non-Prime customers in certain regions are now being asked to spend $35 in order to get free shipping, up from $25.

The ecommerce platform giant has also increased the cost of its Prime membership at the end of 2022 by as much as 20% for some payment methods, with no revision to its benefits.

Amazon is getting expensive

A company spokesperson told CNBC that it would be testing the price hike for some customers. While this is a move that’s clearly designed to cover increasing costs, it’s also one that may push more would-be customers to sign up for Prime and share part of their monthly income with the ecommerce giant.

Details about the scheme such as which customers are being affected and whether it’s likely to be rolled out permanently are unclear. A company spokesperson told TechRadar Pro in an email:

"We continually evaluate our offerings and make adjustments based on those assessments. We’re currently testing a $35 minimum for non-Prime customers to qualify for free shipping. Prime members continue to enjoy free delivery on over 300 million items, with tens of millions of items available for free Same or One-Day Delivery."

While this is set to be some unwelcome news for many consumers, preventing one-off purchases and encouraging buyers to ship more items together is an environmental win.

Prime continues to be a colossal operation for the company, which has recently expanded its electric vehicle fleet, made its fast delivery options available to more third parties, and even offered low-income businesses to pick up extra shifts delivering Prime parcels during their off-peak hours.

However, the allure of a membership isn’t quite what it once was, and the company risks losing some customers to alternative ecommerce outlets as they become more sustainability-conscious.

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Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!