Amazon launched a new delivery option for Prime members in the US today, just ahead of the holiday gift-giving season. The invite-only program is curiously called Amazon Day, not to be mistaken for Amazon’s yearly Prime Day shopping event, as spotted by CNET.
Through Amazon Day, you can set the day of the week when you prefer all of your shipments to arrive. So far, the program is only open to a small group of users by invite, although Amazon plans to add more users in the coming months. You’ll be able to see if you were invited through the Amazon homepage and see the option in checkout. Amazon told The Verge in a statement, “Amazon is always innovating and looking for new ways to surprise and delight our customers, and we’re excited to be testing a new service aimed at making the delivery experience more convenient for customers.”
For instance, if you always work from home on Fridays, you can set it up so that all of the packages that you order throughout the week arrive on Friday (as long as the orders are made at least two days before). If you’re in the program, the option should appear when you check out and pick your shipping option.
If you join the Amazon Day program, you’ll still be able to use other available options like free two-day shipping on each order. And if weekend deliveries are available in your area, you could also set Saturday to be your designated delivery day.
The Amazon Day option is mostly coming to products that are already fulfilled by Prime two-day shipping. It’s a way for users to cut down on excess packaging since orders will be shipped in fewer boxes rather than one bag and box per item. It could also streamline orders to make the replenishing of certain products, like paper towels or other household goods, more predictable.
At the same time, Amazon’s bottom line could also benefit from the decrease in packaging and multiple shipments. Amazon reported higher fulfillment costs this quarter by nearly $2 billion, and part of that is the cost of packaging. If the company can shave down that number while keeping the number of orders rising, it could significantly improve its retail profit margins, which have always been a small sliver of net sales.