Understanding Amazon‘s "Change Shipping Speed" Feature: The Ultimate Guide for Picky Shoppers

As a picky shopper and retail/consumer expert, I know firsthand how important it is to have control over your online shopping experience. One of the key factors in this experience is shipping speed – how quickly you can get your hands on the products you‘ve ordered. Amazon, the world‘s largest e-commerce platform, offers a range of shipping speed options to cater to different customer preferences and needs. In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll dive deep into Amazon‘s "change shipping speed" feature, exploring what it means, how it works, and how you can use it to optimize your shopping experience.

What is "Change Shipping Speed" on Amazon?

When you‘re checking out on Amazon, you‘ll usually see an option labeled "change shipping speed." This feature allows you to select your preferred delivery timeframe for the items in your order. Amazon offers several shipping speed options, which can vary based on factors such as your location, the item‘s availability, and your Amazon Prime membership status.

Standard Shipping

Standard shipping is the default shipping option for most Amazon orders. With standard shipping, your item will typically be delivered within 4-5 business days after it has been shipped. This is usually the cheapest shipping option, but delivery times can vary depending on your proximity to Amazon‘s fulfillment centers and the item‘s origin.

Expedited Shipping

If you need your item sooner than the standard shipping timeframe, you can choose expedited shipping. This usually means your order will arrive within 2-3 business days after shipping. Expedited shipping costs more than standard shipping, but it can be a worthwhile investment if you have a tight deadline or an urgent need for the item.

Prime Shipping

Amazon Prime members enjoy exclusive access to free two-day shipping on millions of eligible items. In some cases, Prime members can even opt for free one-day or same-day delivery, depending on the item and their location. This is one of the most significant benefits of a Prime membership, and it‘s an excellent option for shoppers who want fast, free shipping without any extra fees.

According to a 2021 survey by Statista, 79% of Amazon Prime members cited free two-day shipping as the primary reason for subscribing to the service. This highlights just how much consumers value fast and affordable shipping options.

Shipping Speed Delivery Timeframe Cost
Standard 4-5 business days Lowest
Expedited 2-3 business days Higher
Prime (2-day) 2 business days Free for Prime members
Prime (1-day) 1 business day Free for Prime members in select areas
Prime (same-day) Same day Free for Prime members in select areas

Factors Affecting Amazon Shipping Speeds

While Amazon strives to provide fast and reliable shipping, several factors can impact delivery times:

Item Availability

If an item is in stock and ready to ship from an Amazon fulfillment center, it will generally arrive more quickly than an item that needs to be procured from a third-party seller or an overseas warehouse. This is why some items may have longer shipping timeframes or fewer shipping speed options available.

Warehouse Location

The distance between the Amazon warehouse storing your item and your delivery address can also affect shipping times. If the item you‘ve ordered is housed in a fulfillment center close to you, it will typically arrive faster than an item that needs to be shipped across the country or from another continent.

Third-Party Sellers

Many products on Amazon are sold by third-party sellers rather than Amazon itself. These sellers may have their own shipping policies and timeframes, which can differ from Amazon‘s standard shipping speeds. Always review the seller‘s shipping information carefully before placing your order to ensure you understand their specific policies and delivery estimates.

Shipping Carrier and Method

Amazon works with multiple shipping carriers, including UPS, FedEx, and USPS, to deliver packages to customers. The specific carrier and shipping method used for your order can impact delivery times. For example, an item shipped via UPS Ground may take longer to arrive than an item shipped via FedEx 2-Day.

How to Change Shipping Speed on Amazon

Changing your shipping speed on Amazon is a straightforward process:

  1. Add the desired item(s) to your Amazon shopping cart.
  2. Proceed to checkout.
  3. In the "Shipping Speed" section of the checkout page, click "Change" next to the current shipping speed.
  4. Select your preferred shipping speed from the available options.
  5. Continue with the checkout process.

It‘s important to note that not all items will have multiple shipping speed options available. Some products, especially those sold by third-party sellers, may only offer standard shipping.

Modifying Shipping Speed After Placing an Order

If you‘ve already placed your order and need to change the shipping speed, you may still have options, depending on the order‘s status:

Before Shipment

If your order hasn‘t shipped yet, you can attempt to change the shipping speed by following these steps:

  1. Navigate to "Your Orders" in your Amazon account.
  2. Locate the order you wish to modify and click "Change Shipping Speed."
  3. Choose your desired shipping speed and click "Confirm."

Keep in mind that this option may not be available for all orders, particularly if the item is already being prepared for shipment.

After Shipment

Once your order has been shipped, you typically won‘t be able to change the shipping speed. However, you can still track your package and view the estimated delivery date by visiting the "Your Orders" page in your Amazon account.

Eco-Friendly Shipping Considerations

As consumers become increasingly environmentally conscious, it‘s important to consider the ecological impact of our shipping choices. Faster shipping speeds often require more resources and can lead to higher carbon emissions due to the need for expedited transportation methods.

A 2020 study by the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics found that online shopping with standard delivery can have a lower carbon footprint than in-store shopping, due to factors like optimized delivery routes and reduced individual consumer trips. However, the study also noted that expedited shipping options can negate these environmental benefits.

As a picky shopper, you can make more eco-friendly shipping choices by:

  1. Choosing standard shipping when possible, allowing for more efficient delivery routes and reduced emissions.
  2. Consolidating your orders to minimize the number of separate shipments.
  3. Opting for "Amazon Day" delivery, which allows you to receive all your orders on a single day of the week, reducing packaging waste and transportation emissions.
  4. Supporting Amazon‘s efforts to use more sustainable packaging materials and invest in electric delivery vehicles.

The Psychology of Shipping Speeds

Consumers‘ preferences for faster shipping speeds are often influenced by psychological factors, such as instant gratification and perceived value. In today‘s fast-paced world, many shoppers have come to expect quick and convenient delivery options as a standard part of the online shopping experience.

A 2021 survey by PwC found that 41% of consumers are willing to pay extra for same-day delivery, highlighting the importance of fast shipping in driving customer satisfaction and loyalty. This desire for instant gratification can sometimes lead shoppers to choose expedited shipping options even when they may not be necessary, resulting in higher costs and potentially more significant environmental impacts.

As a savvy shopper, it‘s essential to balance your desire for fast shipping with other factors, such as cost, environmental impact, and actual necessity. By taking a mindful approach to your shipping speed choices, you can make more informed decisions that align with your values and priorities.

Insider Tips for Optimizing Amazon Shipping Speeds and Costs

Drawing upon my expertise in the retail and e-commerce industry, here are some insider tips for making the most of Amazon‘s shipping speed options:

  1. Plan ahead: If you know you‘ll need an item by a specific date, order it well in advance to avoid the need for expedited shipping.
  2. Compare prices: Sometimes, the cost difference between standard and expedited shipping may be minimal. Always compare the available options to find the best balance of speed and affordability.
  3. Utilize Amazon Prime: If you‘re a frequent Amazon shopper, consider investing in a Prime membership to access free two-day, one-day, and same-day shipping options on eligible items.
  4. Choose "No-Rush" shipping: If you don‘t need your item quickly, select "No-Rush" shipping at checkout to earn rewards or discounts on future purchases.
  5. Monitor prices: Amazon‘s prices and shipping speeds can fluctuate based on factors like supply and demand. Keep an eye on your desired items and be ready to purchase when the price and shipping speed align with your needs.

The Future of Amazon Shipping Speeds

As Amazon continues to innovate and adapt to evolving consumer preferences, the future of shipping speeds looks increasingly fast and flexible. Some emerging trends and technologies that may shape the future of Amazon shipping include:

  1. Drone delivery: Amazon has been testing its Prime Air drone delivery service, which aims to deliver packages weighing up to 5 pounds within 30 minutes or less.
  2. Expanded same-day and one-day delivery: As Amazon invests in more localized fulfillment centers and partnerships with local businesses, the availability of same-day and one-day delivery options is likely to grow.
  3. Increased use of automation: Amazon is already utilizing robotics and automation in its fulfillment centers to streamline processes and reduce delivery times. As these technologies advance, shipping speeds may become even faster and more efficient.
  4. Personalized delivery options: In the future, Amazon may offer even more customized shipping speed options based on individual customer preferences, order history, and location.

As a picky shopper, staying informed about these emerging trends can help you make the most of Amazon‘s shipping speed options and ensure you‘re always getting the best possible service for your needs.


Amazon‘s "change shipping speed" feature is a powerful tool for picky shoppers who want to tailor their online shopping experience to their specific needs and preferences. By understanding the different shipping speed options available, the factors that can impact delivery times, and insider tips for optimizing speed and cost, you can make more informed decisions and get the most value from your Amazon purchases.

As the world of e-commerce continues to evolve, it‘s essential to stay attuned to emerging trends and technologies that may shape the future of shipping speeds. By being a savvy, environmentally conscious shopper and leveraging Amazon‘s shipping speed options wisely, you can enjoy a seamless, satisfying online shopping experience that meets your unique needs and priorities.