Amazon this morning announced it’s expanding its one-hour delivery service, Prime Now, to two more markets: the San Francisco Bay Area and San Antonio, Texas. The company had clearly been ramping up operations in California, in preparation to serve the Bay Area and beyond, as it currently has five fulfillment centers in the state, employing over 10,000 individuals in full-time positions. In addition, Amazon has six Prime Now hubs in the state to support this faster delivery service.
Available only to Amazon Prime members, Prime Now allows customers to place orders for free two-hour delivery time frames, or it costs $7.99 for one-hour delivery. Members can choose from tens of thousands of items, ranging from household goods and cold groceries to electronics and last-minute gifts.
Amazon says that, at launch, the service will reach most San Francisco and San Jose neighborhoods, and includes Potrero Hill, Mountain View and Cupertino. Over the next 24 hours, the service will expand to more San Francisco neighborhoods, Palo Alto, and throughout Silicon Valley as Prime Now comes online. Customers who want to see if Prime Now is available in their area can download the dedicated iOS or Android application and enter their zip code.
In the Bay Area, Prime Now will be available from 8 AM to midnight, 7 days per week.
Meanwhile, the San Antonio expansion will see Prime Now reaching select zips from the hours of 10 AM to 10 PM, 7 days a week. Prime Now already operates in Texas, including in Austin, Dallas and Houston, and Amazon has four fulfillment centers in the state as well as four Prime Now hubs.
In addition, Prime Now is available elsewhere around the U.S. including Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, L.A. (and the Orange County area), Indianapolis, Miami, Minneapolis & St. Paul, NYC, Portland, and Seattle (and Eastside). In some markets, Amazon is testing delivery of other items beyond products, like groceries, hot meals ordered from local restaurants and food trucks, and even beer, wine and liquor. This puts Prime Now in more direct competition with courier businesses like Postmates, grocery delivery services like Instacart, and restaurant delivery services, like UberEATS.
However, even outside of denser, urban markets, Amazon is also working on speeding up delivery windows for its customers. For example, earlier this week, Amazon announced expansions of its free, same-day delivery service to Chicago and Orlando, as well as new locations in NYC, Chicago, Northern New Jersey and Philadelphia.
Unlike Prime Now, same-day delivery doesn’t promise a one or two-hour time frame, but is still a fast option to get necessary items on the day of the order.
With same-day delivery, Amazon Prime members can place orders over $35 by noon, then receive delivery by 9 PM. It’s also available 7 days a week, but there’s no additional fee. This option is available in a number of major metro regions, including Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Indianapolis, the Greater Los Angeles area, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, the San Francisco Bay area including Oakland and San Jose, Seattle-Tacoma, the Tampa Bay area, Washington, D.C., and newly added Orlando and Chicago areas, the retailer notes.
By expanding the delivery window a bit, the company is able to deliver further out from the city center in many markets, reaching areas like Brooklyn and Queens in New York, as well as Newark to Paterson and beyond in neighboring New Jersey, as well as further out from smaller cities that don’t have large downtown populations, like Tampa or Orlando, for example.
Currently, there are over a million items available for free same-day delivery, out of the 20 million items that are available for Prime’s free two-day delivery. Prime Now, meanwhile, is a subset of that, with just “tens of thousands” of the most in-demand products.