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What Is Prime Now? And What Happened To The App?

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Key Takeaways

  • Prime Now offered same-day grocery delivery, folded into Amazon in 2021.
  • Was a standalone service, now integrated into Amazon’s main app for convenience.
  • Offered 1-2 hour delivery windows, expanded to major cities globally.
  • Same-day shipping now available for broader product categories on Amazon.

You can probably recall hearing the name “Prime Now” a few years ago, as back then, it was a popular Amazon service that was available to its Prime subscribers.

You could also often see Amazon embellishing its benefits.

Back then, Prime Now was considered a separate Amazon-related entity with a separate Prime Now app that handled everything related to same-day shipping, particularly for groceries from local stores.

Prime Now at a Glance

Prime Now used to be Amazon’s subsidiary service where you could shop for products, mainly groceries, and have them delivered on the same day, often within a 2-hour window.

Everything seemed to be going well, and many people were expecting more global coverage. However, in 2021, Prime Now folded into the main Amazon app, which you can still use to order groceries with same-day delivery.

What is Prime Now?

Prime Now was a special Amazon service, launched in 2014, that came with a Prime Now mobile app and interface, where you could shop for groceries and have them delivered to you within the same day.

A pick-up service was also available, allowing you to order your groceries and pick them up yourself. This was convenient if you lived in a major city close to an Amazon facility.

If you recall, Prime Now had Amazon’s distinctive branding with a similar logo and the iconic smiley face, but in blue instead of orange.

It was popular, too. In 2016, a reported 25% of Amazon Prime subscribers were using the service.

Features and Benefits

The main benefit of Prime Now was that you could have your groceries delivered to your doorstep in as little as a one-hour delivery, but that came at an additional fee of $7.99 in the US. You could also choose two-hour delivery for free.

Prime Now also worked with Amazon Flex, allowing people to work independently with Amazon to make deliveries.

Prime Now Coverage

Prime Now initially only launched in New York City, but by 2016, it had included many of the major cities in the US, such as Chicago, Portland, and Seattle.

It also quickly expanded to major cities in Europe, Japan, India, and Singapore. In total, there were over 5,000 Prime Now locations around the world.

What Happened to Prime Now?

In 2021, Amazon announced that it would shut down the Prime Now service and integrate its benefits into the main Amazon app. The new service works similarly to Walmart’s same-day delivery.

Amazon never disclosed why they made this decision, and to some people, it seemed sudden, as Prime Now was fairly popular.

But the reason probably was to make things simpler, as now you can order certain items and have them delivered on the same day without leaving the main app.

As for Flex drivers who used to depend on Prime Now, they can still do other delivery types from the app.

How Same-Day Shipping Works

Now, let’s look at how same-day shipping works from start to finish.

The Ordering Process

When you’re shopping for eligible items on the Amazon app or website, you’ll see a note telling you that if you order within the same-day delivery window, you’ll receive your items on the same day.

Naturally, the earlier you order online, the better. After a certain cutoff, your delivery might turn into overnight delivery and reach your home by morning.

Delivery Fee

With an Amazon Prime membership, same-day delivery is free in select cities in the US, but only if your order is over $25. You’ll have to pay a $2.99 fee for orders under that threshold.

For non-Prime members, all same-day deliveries have a $9.99 fee.

Availability

Right now, Amazon offers same-day delivery in most major US metropolitan areas, such as Boston and San Francisco. In total, there are over 110 eligible cities.

The same-day delivery service is also available in multiple other countries across the world.

Regarding time availability, same-day delivery is available almost all days of the year, excluding Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s days.

Also, it isn’t available on Black Friday or Prime Day, which is an event exclusive to Amazon Prime members.

What Products Are Eligible for Same-Day Delivery?

There are thousands of products eligible for same-day delivery (from different categories): food and beverages, groceries, kitchen and household supplies, electronics, beauty and personal care products, pet products, office tools, sports accessories, and more.

This is certainly one of the biggest benefits of folding Prime Now into the main Amazon app, as we now have substantially more options to shop from than before.

The Bottom Line

Prime Now may have shut down as a standalone service, but we haven’t lost anything since it was integrated into the main Amazon shopping experience.

In fact, we gained access to more categories that are eligible for same-day delivery. Now, it’s not only limited to fresh and whole foods but also includes more items like electronics or silverware.

Still, remember that if you want same-day delivery, you better place your order early, as after a certain time (depending on your area), it might not be possible anymore.

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