Amazon offers free shipping for everyone through the holidays

Prime members who are already entitled to free two-day shipping will also receive a new perk during the holidays.                        Reuters

Prime members who are already entitled to free two-day shipping will also receive a new perk during the holidays. Reuters

"This holiday, customers can enjoy free shipping with no minimum purchase amount on orders that will arrive in time for Christmas, including items from Amazon's expertly curated Gift Guides across electronics, fashion, home and toys", said Doug Herrington, Senior Vice President of North American Retail at Amazon. Starting on Monday, Amazon says it will remove that minimum order requirement on eligible items "for a limited time", without providing a specific end date for the promotion.

The company's shares fell more than 3 percent following the announcement. There's a feature called AR View, for example - a new augmented reality feature in the Amazon app that allows customers to view products in situ before they purchase. That is important for the world's largest online retailer since a revenue slowdown it forecast last month spooked some investors and sent its stock tumbling. Amazon.co.uk will lead the way as usual, and is promising big things already. A spokeswoman said it is the first time Amazon has dropped its minimum order size to qualify for free standard shipping - which generally takes between five and eight days - to zero.

Instead of the usual $25 order minimum before shipping and taxes, Amazon is offering free shipping almost all orders shipped and sold by Amazon.

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

Amazon is now courting those outside the club, hoping its brand and wider selection will set it apart. Target, however, promises to deliver the items more quickly.

Amazon Black Friday Sale will run from November 16 to November 25, during which a deluge of products will have their prices slashed. According to the Seattle company's latest annual filing, shipping costs almost doubled from 2015 to 2017, reaching $21.7 billion.

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