Amazon Is Offering Free Shipping For All

Amazon's warehouse in Fall River Massachusetts.                  Ben Fox Rubin  CNET

With the all-important holiday season kicking off around Thanksgiving later this month, retailers are jockeying for customers' dollars and hoping to outpace Amazon, which takes up almost 50 cents of each dollar spent online in the US.

Amazon already offered free 2-day shipping to Amazon Prime subscribers, which is why Target made free 2-day shipping for its customers. Hundreds of millions of items will therefore become eligible for free shipping. The mega online retailer announced it will offer free shipping on all holiday orders in time for Christmas, doing away with a minimum purchase price - even if you aren't a Prime member.

Those who pay for a Prime membership (here's how to get a free Amazon Prime account) will be able to access these deals 30 minutes early.

Retailers are competing hard for holiday shoppers, who increasingly expect fast and free shipping. Target dropped its $35 minimum for free two-day shipping during the holidays. Moreover, Prime members in more than 60 cities can receive deliveries in under one hour from Whole Foods Market.

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Amazon also said Monday that it has expanded the number of items and locations where Prime members can get free same-day delivery. So long as shipping partners are not too backed up, that could mean right up to December 24 given that Amazon can do same-day delivery in select areas. During the fourth quarter of 2017, the company spent a record $7.3 billion getting packages to customers.

Amazon UK Black Friday sale will run from next week - 16 November - and carry on until Sunday 25 November.

Also new for this year, Amazon will be offering Black Friday customers the chance to use Augmented Reality (AR) inside its iOS and Android apps to visualise products to help work out whether a household product will fit - without a tape measure.

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