Amazon may soon enact its next plan to capture the retail sphere.
The company is close to launching Shipping With Amazon, a full-scale national delivery service, according to a Wall Street Journal report that cites anonymous sources. The service is poised to compete with with delivery service giants FedEx and United Parcel Service (UPS) as well as the United States Postal Service.
The rollout won’t be immediate. It will first launch in L.A. following a trial that began over a year ago, the reports said, with an expansion to more cities later this year.
Shipping With Amazon, or SWA, likely won’t just be delivering Amazon packages. Per the report, Amazon’s goal is to eventually ship anything anywhere, just like its competitors in parcel delivery.
Amazon has been testing such a service in the U.S. since at least October, under the working title “Seller Flex.”
The report also indicates that Amazon plans to undercut the prices of its competitors. That’s a common Amazon strategy: Lose money in the short term by charging below cost in the hopes of gaining a solid foothold over competitors, then raise its prices over time.
Greater delivery oversight may make it easier for Amazon to avoid congested warehouses, make it better able to provide discounts on large orders, and potentially increase the reach of Prime, whose primary feature remains free two-day shipping in the U.S. But there’s clearly more to Amazon’s grand plan than making money from shipping.
The company’s recent acquisition of Whole Foods, stake in an independent healthcare company, and hints at a social network, as well as the dominance of Alexa in the smart home space, show that Amazon is no longer just trying to be your retailer. It’s trying to be your life.
To many, the convenience may be well worth the trade-off of having a single company in command of so much of the everyday. But if the idea of Amazon having a hand part in many of your day-to-day physical needs — from food to clothing to your entertainment and even your mail — makes you uneasy, you may want to cover your eyes.