Amazon says today it will expand its same-day delivery service covering around 1 million items to two new markets, San Diego and Tampa Bay, while also reducing the price to free for orders over $35. The company already offers same-day delivery in several regions, including New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco (and the Bay area, including Oakland), Seattle, Atlanta, Boston, Baltimore, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C.
Previously, the cost to use this service was a flat $5.99 for Amazon Prime members, who also pay the $99 annual fee to participate in Amazon’s larger membership program which includes free two-day shipping on over 20 million items, plus other benefits like access to Prime Instant Video, Prime Music, a Kindle lending library, and more.
Meanwhile, non-members will continue to pay $8.99 plus $0.99 per unit when requesting same-day delivery. Orders, which can be placed seven days a week, have to be submitted by noon to be received by 9 PM that day.
This expansion is separate from Prime Now, an even quicker delivery program which offers thousands of everyday items, including household needs and gifts, in select markets. Prime Now currently operates in parts of New York City, Miami, Baltimore, Dallas, Atlanta, and Austin. With Prime Now, orders are delivered within two hours for free, or within the hour for $7.99.
Amazon’s move to make same-day delivery an option for more of the U.S. – now 500 cities and towns, notes Geekwire in their report – comes at a time when a number of competitors, including Postmates, Deliv, Uber and Lyft are also offering alternative ways to help people shop by leveraging their network of on-demand couriers and drivers who can pick up from local stores and deliver to nearby customers. Amazon, meanwhile, has historically placed its fulfillment centers outside of metro areas – a practice it’s now trying to change as the competition heats up.