Last minute Christmas shopping? Amazon Prime Now promises one-hour deliveries

Amazon may already provide same day collection from some of its pick-up points, but the online giant is now promising deliveries within an hour of ordering.

Amazon Prime Now is a new service that offers faster-than-ever deliveries across "tens of thousands" of products.

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The service is currently only available in the Manhattan area of New York, but Amazon has promised that it will be coming to additional cities in 2015.

One-hour deliveries cost $7.99, although Amazon Prime members can choose to have their orders delivered within two hours free-of-charge. In order to take advantage of the new service, customers simply download the Prime Now app, which is available across Android, iOS and Amazon Fire devices and complete their purchases as they would using the website. Prime Now customers can also track the couriers in real time to see exactly how far away their delivery is.

The service is available to deliver any time between 6am and midnight and is blikely to have been launched in response to Google’s own Shopping Express service. Earlier in the year, Google’s expanded its delivery platform to include New York and Los Angeles.

Despite one being considered an online retailer and the other a search engine, Amazon and Google are increasingly competing for a similar market. Google CEO Eric Schmidt has previous called Amazon its biggest search competitor and rumours surfacing last week indicated that Google is looking to boost its online shopping presence.

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Since launching in 2005, Amazon Prime has become an increasingly important offering within Amazon’s portfolio of services. The online firm will be hoping that its new Prime Now service proves as popular as its other platforms, such as Prime Instant Video, which have contributed towards the company’s impressive revenue figures this year.