The Prime Now delivery service, an extension of the Prime subscription service, is currently only in operation in certain parts of Manhattan, where Amazon is leveraging its network of fulfillment centers to drastically reduce delivery times for an array of widely used products. Amazon plans to extend the service to other big metropolitan areas over the next year.
Currently 25,000 products are available through the service, including things like paper towels, shampoo, books, toys and batteries, USB cables, headphones, Kindle Fire tablets, and the like.
Amazon Prime subscribers who download the Prime Now app, available for iOS and Android devices, can choose one-hour delivery with a delivery fee of $7.99, or free two-hour delivery if they can endure another hour without shampoo. Delivery is available from 6 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week. Part of Amazon’s new building on 34th Street in Manhattan will serve as a distribution center of Prime Now orders, according to the company.
Many of the deliveries will be carried out by bike messengers, as first reported earlier this month.
The rationale behind Amazon Prime Now would appear to rest, in part, on sheer laziness. Dave Clark, Amazon’s senior vice president of worldwide operations, explained: “There are times when you can’t make it to the store and other times when you simply don’t want to go. There are so many reasons to skip the trip and now Prime members in Manhattan can get the items they need delivered in an hour or less.”
An Amazon Prime subscription costs $99 per year.