Amazon cuts free shipping minimum to $25

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Amazon wants to get back in your good graces by lowering its free shipping minimum back to $25. This marks the second time Amazon has dropped the free shipping minimum this year. Target for instance, has raised its minimum free shipping from $25 to $35 - which is sort of odd.

Amazon's strategies for how and when to offer free shipping are especially complicated because of Amazon Prime.

Items will be delivered five to eight business days after they are available to ship.

"The challenge Wal-Mart has thrown down is, 'give me free two-day shipping without a membership fee, ' which is hard for Amazon to match without refunding everyone's $99 Prime membership", said Sucharita Mulpuru, an e-commerce consultant.

And, just a few weeks ago, Wal-Mart announced a new Pickup Discount program that lowers prices even further for customers shopping select items; all you have to do is pick up your item at your local store (instead of having it shipping directly to your home) to receive a discount, dependent on the item. Amazon remains the established leader offering everything from free two-day shipping to its Prime members, to one- or two-hour delivery in some markets.

As brick-and-mortar shops continue to shutter at staggering rates, online retailers like Amazon and Wal-Mart are fiercely competing for online shoppers.

While the program has only reached the stage of being tested by employees at Target headquarters, Target plans to test what it's calling Target Restock with consumers this summer in the Minneapolis area. the program offers a limited selection of items, what the company calls "essentials" for next-day delivery. It is left to its competition to decide whether it is worth matching in order to keep or draw customers.

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