retail news in context, analysis with attitude reports that British customers placing orders from Amazon of under £10 - or about $16 US - now will have to pay for shipping when they used to get it for free.

According to the story, "the internet giant has changed the terms of how customers qualify for free delivery, which it calls 'Super Saver Delivery,' so that customers buying books, music, film, software and PC and video games will have to pay for delivery of orders under £10.

"Amazon previously introduced the £10 minimum order fee for free delivery to all its other products in July, but excluded books, music, film and games from the qualifying items. The Super Saver Delivery is advertised as taking three-five working days."
KC's View:
While the story says that independent bookstores competing with Amazon may see the shift as a positive because it levels the playing field to some degree, there also is another possibility - that Amazon is hoping that the change will prompt more Brits to sign up for Amazon Prime, which guarantees one-day delivery (in Britain) on all orders if shoppers pay an annual £49 fee.

I tend to see the second possibility as the more likely one … that Amazon accurately believes that the more people it can move into the Prime program, the greater loyalty, sales and, eventually, profitability it can create.