Amazon is making moves to make you even more reliant on your Prime account


For semi-urgent necessities like coffee and contact lens solution, we used to run to the store. But given how easy Amazon makes it to get anything you could ever want in a timely manner (for better or worse), shopping at brick-and-mortar locations with all that traffic and waiting at the cash register can seem less convenient than simply hitting order on an app or website. 

If there was any doubt that an Amazon Prime membership with free two-day shipping is becoming many people’s go-to, Amazon is about to make it an even more appealing option. According to Forbes, a recent conference call revealed the online marketplace is about to invest $800 million — 20 percent of last quarter’s net income — towards moving two-day shipping down to one day. The company is continuously expanding the number of products and regions eligible. Of course, one- or two-hour shipping windows are still available on select products.

One Morgan Stanley analyst challenged the move in the conference call asking about why it’s necessary. Brian Olsavsky, Amazon’s chief financial officer, responded that it “will open up a lot of potential purchases.” But the subtext, noted Forbes, is that it’s an opportunity to keep up with competitors like Walmart who are offering two-day shipping without the need for a paid membership.

The competition between retailers is fierce, but Amazon recently announced one strategic move to partner up with competitor Kohl’s. Starting in July, you’ll be able to return any of those one-day Amazon purchases to all 1,150 Kohl’s brick-and-mortar stores, according to NPR. A company statement said they’ll accept “eligible Amazon items, without a box or label, and return them for customers for free, providing additional service and convenience to Amazon customers.”

Kohl’s may have fallen off your radar once you moved out of mom and dad’s house since it’s mostly a fixture in suburban shopping malls, and doesn’t offer the same in-demand women’s clothing brands as competitors Macy’s or Bloomingdale’s. But the move to appeal to a wider demographic is hardly a surprise. CNN Business reported that Kohl’s began selling Amazon tech products like the Echo last year, as well as devoting store space to Aldi grocery chains and Planet Fitness locations in select locations to encourage shoppers to make purchases while they’re already there. Hey, if it works on Target shoppers...