When companies can spend $120 to get your order delivered overnight: How speedy shipping is changing retail

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As big-box stores and smaller merchants prioritize expedited delivery, the competition for the speediest shipping is becoming costly.

E-commerce giant Amazon AMZN, +0.15%  is taking deliveries to the next level with a hefty investment of money and expanding its network to deliver packages in a single day.

Amazon’s Prime membership was a game-changer in e-commerce when it was unveiled in 2005. The promise of guaranteed, unlimited two-day shipping made the tech giant the big kahuna in retail. Since then the company has upped the ante to fulfill customer orders fast.

What is speedy shipping costing companies?

The cost to ship an item overnight can range from $45 to $120, according to First Insight, a retail analytics platform.

“Consumers want their products in the shortest amount of time possible and that’s what is driving demand for speedy shipping and forcing retailers to figure out the best logistical cycle to get products to them,” said Greg Petro, chief executive of First Insight.

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