Procrastinators everywhere are relying on Amazon Prime to get those last-minute Christmas gifts under the wire.
In some cities, like Seattle, shoppers can purchase online items up until 10 p.m. on Dec. 24 and still ensure they’ll have their gifts under the tree by Christmas morning. That’s thanks to Amazon Prime Now, a service that guarantees some members of Amazon’s $100 a year Prime membership deliveries in under two hours.
Amazon Prime Now is available in 28 metro areas across the U.S. In the Seattle-Bellevue region, there are three Prime Now hubs like the one we visited today.
Two-hour delivery is free for Prime members and they also have the option to select one-hour delivery for an $8 charge.
So, how does Amazon manage these rapid-fire deliveries?
I decided to find out by following an order from an Amazon Prime Now hub in Seattle to my doorstep. We watched as pickers searched the shelves for my items — bacon, La Croix sparkling water, and earbuds — and prepared them for pick up by Amazon Flex couriers. Less than two hours later, the items were at my apartment.
Watching the well-oiled machine that facilitates the fast deliveries I’ve come to expect was eye-opening. It’s easy to forget how much coordinated effort goes into delivering a package that quickly — and Amazon wants it that way. The company is and always has been fanatically customer-focused, and super speedy shipping is the latest chapter in that narrative. Amazon just wants the customer to expect hassle-free, nearly instant delivery and it’ll take care of the behind-the-scenes operations to make that happen.
Watch the video above to see what happens when the curtain’s pulled back.