Target Just Announced Free 2-Day Shipping—Here’s How It Compares to Amazon

published Oct 24, 2018
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

In their latest attempt to make your Target run easier, the Minnesota-based retailer just announced a bunch of time (and money) saving ways to get your stuff quicker.

On Wednesday, Target debuted free two-day shipping on “hundreds of thousands of items, with no minimum purchase and no membership required,” according to their corporate blog.

As the holiday season quickly approaches, retailers do their darnedest to win your hard-earned dollars, and part of that is getting you your stuff as fast and as painlessly as possible. In addition to free two-day shipping with no minimum purchase starting November 1, Target has also expanded same-day delivery through Shipt, making the membership service available to hundreds of metros in 46 states.

Now that Target has claimed the title of “the first retailer to offer shoppers same-day delivery and Drive Up service coast to coast,” it seems like a good time to compare them to the reigning delivery champ, Amazon. Here’s how the two retailers measure up.

Shipped orders under $25 (not a Prime member): Target

If you’re not already a Prime member, and what you’re ordering is under $25, Target will be the better deal. Free two-day shipping for all orders regardless of total starts on November 1 and is “through the holiday season,” so best take advantage when you can.

Of course, if you’re a Prime member, take your pick. You always have free two-day shipping on Amazon, but sometimes Target has a better price or you prefer its in-house brands.

Same-day delivery: Amazon

As someone who is both a Prime member and has a promo membership to Shipt, Amazon wins this round. Delivery of Target items via Shipt is limited to groceries, essentials, and now decorations and gifts for the holiday season. Prime same-day delivery varies by location, but is pretty broad in terms of items available (one million, according to a PR email). Shipt can be more directly compared to Prime Now—Amazon’s separate same-day delivery service—which has a more limited inventory than all of Amazon.

Both services are $99 per year, but Amazon Prime gets you streaming TV, music, free Kindle books, and more, so if you use those extras, it definitely adds value.

Of course, only one or the other might be available in your area. Here’s where you can check the delivery ranges for both Shipt and Prime Now.

Delivery to your car: Target

While the Seattle-based company offers Amazon Key, a service where you can get packages delivered to the inside of your trunk, the requirements are kind of specific. For the four-wheeled, it might just be less complicated to pull up outside your local Target and have a team member drop the packages into your waiting vehicle. Drive Up is available at nearly 1,000 stores—you just place an order through the Target app, and then within an hour, you’ll be notified when it’s ready to pick up.

Order pickup: Target

Again, Target has the advantage with its physical locations. Similar to Drive Up, you place an order on the app and you’ll get a notification when your stuff is ready—usually in under an hour. I did this for two AC units during a particularly horrible heat wave this summer, and even got a 10 percent discount for choosing store pickup.

Amazon is doing its best to catch up on this front, with more and more Amazon Locker locations, as well as more comprehensive storefronts that also accept returns. If you live near one, it could be a good option if you’re a frequent Amazon shopper.

In the end, it mostly matters which store and experience you prefer—diehard Target fans will love its expanded options, and Amazon groupies will stick with their fave. Or some might dabble with both. Either way, the choices have never been so plentiful.