Companies & Industries

Amazon same-day delivery comes to Canada in Toronto and Vancouver

Prepare to pay up if you want that book today

(Carl Malamud)

(Carl Malamud)

E-commerce giant Amazon has been dabbling in same-day delivery in major U.S. markets for some time now. Today the company announced it would begin same-day deliveries in specific areas of Toronto and Vancouver.

Amazon is trying hard to get shoppers on board with its paid-subscription Amazon Prime program, which offers a discount on same-day delivery: $6.99 for Prime members, while ordinary civilians pay $11.99 for the first item in a same-day delivery and $1.99 for each item after that. The order has to be placed by noon, and the company says it will arrive by 9 p.m. There’s no real way to know in advance whether the thing you want is available same-day; the option is noted on the product page—for example, the Google Chromecast—if it’s eligible, but seems to only appear if you’re signed in to your Amazon account and the company has your postal code on file.

Online shopping, of course, is a huge opportunity:

There are many reasons retailers such as Target, Sears and Walmart have seen their shares drop this year. One biggie is that more and more people are spending their dollars online. According to eMarketer, an independent research firm, the world’s consumers will spend US$1.5 trillion online this year; that should climb to US$2.3 trillion by 2017.

…unfortunately one that many Canadian retailers are lagging on:

Canadians purchased $122 billion worth of goods online in 2012, doubling the amount from five years earlier. In stat after stat, the report casts Canada as a nation of early adopters. And yet. Only 46% of Canadian businesses have a website, with the number falling to 41% among small and medium sized enterprises. Even worse, 3% of our retail economy takes place online—less than half of the United States and one-eighth of the levels in the United Kingdom.