Those living in New York can now get their Amazon deliveries even faster. The company today introduced a new service for Prime subscribers called Prime Now, which promises to deliver a range of daily essentials in select areas of Manhattan, in under one hour for $7.99 or within two hours for free.
Amazon lists items including paper towels, shampoo, books, toys and batteries as eligible for Now deliveries. Looking at the service’s promo video it seems other less critical items -- such as electronics -- might make the cut too.
A new Prime Now app will be available on iOS and Android, with which users can view all eligible items and be notified when the service is available in their local area. While that’s currently a sole ZIP code west of the Empire State Building, Amazon says it will expand the program to other parts of New York soon and more cities next year.
The service will be available from 6 AM to midnight, seven days a week.
With this Amazon is squarely getting into competition with the likes of Kozmo.com, Urbanfetch, Instacart and Postmates -- all of which offer speedy pick up and delivery of a variety of goods to people in around a dozen cities.
Amazon already has an extensive network of fulfilment centers and “tens of millions” of Prime subscribers, so it definitely has the expertise and infrastructure in place to pose a real threat to its rivals.
Aside from speedy deliveries on an online catalog including over 20 million items, Prime includes instant streaming of tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes through Prime Instant Video, one million songs and hundreds of playlists through Prime Music, free unlimited photo storage through Amazon’s Cloud Drive, early access to select Lightning Deals and access to over 600,000 books to borrow through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.