Amazon expands 1-hour service

Published 9:47 pm Thursday, February 4, 2016

Arthur Bradshaw was content with Amazon Prime’s two-day delivery service.

But when he saw Amazon expanded its same-day Prime Now service to parts of Hampton Roads, including North Suffolk, on Thursday, Bradshaw put it to the test. By using the Prime Now mobile app, customers in specific ZIP codes get free two-hour delivery — or, for a $7.99 charge, one-hour delivery — of thousands of Amazon orders.

Bradshaw ordered household supplies at 1:15 p.m., opting for free delivery.

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“At 2:50 p.m., she was pulling up outside the door,” said Bradshaw, who typically gets two or three orders from Amazon weekly. “I like that you can track where the delivery person is on your mobile device once they are on the way.

“I love the fact that you don’t have to wait,” he said. “This is convenient. You order it and it’s here.”

Amazon expanded its Prime Now one-hour delivery service as part of an exclusive service for Prime members, said Amazon spokesman Aaron Toso. With the addition of Virginia Beach, Prime Now operates in 25 cities across the U.S.

Any Prime members in eligible ZIP codes can order products using a downloaded app, Toso said. Prime members can download the Prime Now app, available on iOS and Android devices, and will be notified when the service is available in their ZIP codes, according to an Amazon press release.

Eligible ZIP codes in Suffolk are 23433, 23435 and 23436 and in Chesapeake, 23320, 23321, 23322, 23323, 23324 and 23325.

In Hampton Roads, Prime Now is available from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.

Although thousand of items are available, the most commonly ordered nationwide are bottled water, paper towels and gummy bears, Toso said.

“But we also have big-screen televisions, in case your set goes out before the Super Bowl,” Toso said.

Orders placed in Hampton Roads are forwarded to the Prime Now hub — in this case, a Chesapeake warehouse — to be filled. Workers bag the items and drivers take them out for delivery, Toso said.

Customers receive a text message on their mobile devices that allows them to track their order, he said.

Cedar Point resident Wendy Spain, a frequent Amazon user, says she is willing to fork over the $7.99 charge for 60-minute deliveries.

“It’s great, especially if it’s something I need for work or the kids need for school the next day and I didn’t realize it,” Spain said.