The e-commerce giant Amazon announced that it has relaunched its shipping services to Israel after deliveries had been halted following the coronavirus outbreak.
Israeli consumers, however, might be left disappointed since the free shipping option – normally offered by Amazon on purchases over $49 – has not been renewed and it appears the company only offers express shipping at a much higher price.
The company stopped shipping to Israel on March 22, saying it would focus on deliveries of essential goods within the U.S. and few other selected countries.
Amazon in the past offered a cheaper shipping option with a longer waiting period, along with express shipping via companies such as DHL and UPS – which now is the only shipping option for Israeli customers, mostly due to the limited traffic of commercial flights during the pandemic.
Amazon was not the only online retailer to resume shipments to Israel: British retailer Next also started to take orders from Israel after their website was closed for a few weeks. The clothing giant said that to ensure the safety of warehouse staff, it will only take a limited number of orders each day, then slowly start rolling out full service.
According to Globes, the local retail industry estimates that Next makes hundreds of millions of shekels worth of sales in Israel every year, helped in part by its policy of free delivery on orders of over NIS 100 (approximately $28).
The resumption of deliveries to Israel by Amazon and Next comes as Israel has begun easing restrictions to contain the coronavirus after six weeks of closures.