With Amazon now pairing with the United States Postal Service to provide deliveries to residents and businesses on Sundays, there are more opportunities to send and receive packages. With the upcoming holiday season fast approaching, this can be a boon to Amazon, which now has an extra day to get its packages out to customers. In an effort to breathe life into the USPS, which is losing billions in revenue every year, Amazon is offering customers a chance to pay regular mailing rates for these Sunday deliveries, making it the first company in history to offer deliveries seven days a week.
Why and When
Online retailers like Amazon are struggling to keep up with customer demand, and they’re eager to offer new incentives for customers to buy. One way to keep business up is to offer delivery service on Sunday, a day typically reserved for rest around the country. Amazon and the USPS don’t see it that way, though. Sunday delivery benefits both organizations, with the USPS trying to lift its slumping business and Amazon trying to take its business to new and more impressive heights. It also allows the USPS to compete more effectively with other package carriers UPS and FedEx.
With the Christmas rush in full swing, this could very well be the catalyst that makes consumers choose Amazon for their holiday shopping, especially for their last-minute purchases that need to arrive in time. Up until now, customers who opted for Sunday delivery through Express Mail had to shell out extra for the privilege. Now, they will pay standard mailing rates for Sunday deliveries. The launch will be tested in Los Angeles and New York first, with the rest of America hopping on board next year, if all goes well.
One may wonder how the USPS will handle the increase in workload, especially since just recently it asked Congress to end Saturday delivery service to slash operating costs. The USPS says it won’t hire more workers; instead, it plans to use flexible scheduling of its employees to cover the added workload. With the popularity of online shipping expected to grow even more this year, the USPS expects to increase its services to meet customer demand. Online shipping and sales are experiencing double-digit growth, according to CNN Money. Last year’s Cyber Monday made news as the biggest online shopping day in history.
With this year’s holiday shopping season a full week shorter than usual (thanks to the late Thanksgiving holiday) more people than ever will be rushing to make their holiday purchases. Even though online sales are huge, brick-and-mortar retail stores still see a large number of consumers come though their doors, especially on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. Except this year, in an effort to compete with the Amazons of the world, many stores will play into a growing trend of opening on Thanksgiving Day itself.
Waiting it Out
It remains to be seen whether Sunday deliveries will be the miracle the USPS needs to stay afloat. Amazon is looking to entice shoppers to place their online orders on Friday for Sunday delivery and skip the stores, says Forbes.com. The USPS is along for the ride, as the middleman between the sales and the delivery. Beyond the holiday season, both Amazon and the USPS are hoping to break into a new segment of convenience shopping and delivery that will last the entire year.