Amazon Targets Etsy With Last-Minute Delivery of Craft Gifts

  • Online retailer to ship items ordered on Christmas Eve
  • Candles, pottery available right before holiday in nine cities

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Amazon.com Inc. will offer last-minute delivery of pottery, necklaces, candles and other handmade products ordered as late as Christmas Eve in nine U.S. cities, looking to win orders from competing arts-and-crafts marketplace Etsy Inc.

The online retailer will offer Amazon Handmade products through its two-hour delivery service Prime Now, which normally carries household convenience items found in drugstores. It’s the latest example of Amazon flexing its delivery clout around the holidays to win procrastinating shoppers, especially critical this year because Christmas Day falls on a Monday.

Etsy Chief Executive Officer Josh Silverman has said that shopping drops off around mid-December when other e-commerce sites experience their busiest days. Consumers defected from Etsy because they didn’t think the site could compete with holiday sales, offers of free shipping and on-time deliveries, he said. This year, Brooklyn-based Etsy has been providing tools to its merchants geared toward ensuring last-minute shoppers can easily find items that are on sale, ship quickly or come with free delivery.

Amazon’s offering, available in Austin, Minneapolis, New York City, Phoenix, Portland, Raleigh, San Diego, San Francisco and its hometown of Seattle, will help it win last-minute craft shoppers and the artisans eager to reach them.

Internet spending during the November-December holiday season in the U.S. is projected to reach about $107 billion this year, more than 11 percent of total holiday retail sales -- the largest portion ever, according to EMarketer Inc. Amazon, the world’s biggest online retailer, is projected to capture half of the e-commerce holiday spending growth, according to Bain & Co.

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