While the days of a remote controlled helicopter dropping off books and groceries might still be far off, Amazon did improve on its delivery offerings with the launch of Sunday delivery in seven key UK cities. Following a test run in London only, Amazon is offering its UK Prime members in London, Birmingham, Milton Keynes, Oxford, Nottingham, Manchester, and Leeds the option to have this unheard of weekend delivery.
How is this possible? At this year’s Digital Book World conference, a number of speakers discussed some of Amazon’s recent growth in terms of “verticals” and “horizontals,” or the way in which Amazon grows one department upward, while spreading out horizontally into different services. Amazon’s own shipping division, Amazon Logistics, coordinates all of these deliveries via local and regional shipping companies, ensuring day and time delivery.
Amazon only recently announced that it would be charging shipping on orders of books in the UK, something it had not been doing in the past. With a threshold to receive free delivery, Amazon Prime memberships increased multi-fold, especially during the holiday shopping season. According to one source, Amazon’s total global Prime memberships now top 20 million.