The US post office was contemplating stopping Saturday delivery to reduce costs. Instead, the post office has gone the other way, at least for packages.

The LA Times reports U.S. Postal Service to deliver Amazon packages on Sundays.

Giant online retailer Inc. is turning up the heat on rivals this holiday season and beyond under a new deal with the U.S. Postal Service for delivering packages on Sundays.

Starting this week, the postal service will bring Amazon packages on Sundays to shoppers’ doors in the Los Angeles and New York metropolitan areas at no extra charge. Next year, it plans to roll out year-round Sunday delivery to Dallas, New Orleans, Phoenix and other cities.

To pull off Sunday delivery for Amazon, the postal service plans to use its flexible scheduling of employees, Brennan said. It doesn’t plan to add employees, she said.

Members of Amazon’s Prime program have free two-day shipping and, under the new deal, can order items Friday and receive them Sunday. Customers without Prime will pay the standard shipping costs associated with business day delivery.

As consumers increasingly move online to shop, retailers are finding that their shipping policies can be a bellwether of customer loyalty. Though not necessarily offering Sunday delivery, many are testing same-day service.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is testing same-day delivery service in northern Virginia, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Denver and the San Francisco and San Jose region. Last month, EBay Inc. agreed to acquire Shutl, a London start-up that uses a network of same-day couriers to deliver goods ordered online in hours, even minutes.

In March, Google Inc. said it would test a same-day delivery service called Google Shopping Express for online purchases in the Bay Area. Specialty sporting goods store Sport Chalet Inc. began offering a similar service in April.

But adding Sunday service takes the competition to a new level.

Why Go to the Mall?

Competition favors those with a vast array of merchandise and a way to deliver it quickly. Amazon and Walmart are in that class.

If you know what you want, or find what you want online, why go to the mall?

The answer seems to be tradition, or perhaps just to get out of the house. And for some, the walk in the mall is about the only exercise they get.

Same-Day Delivery Options

Why wait two days when you can get it in one?

SEJ reports Google and 6 Other Same-Day Delivery Services.

If you live in the Bay Area, you might be relaxing at home in your pajamas ordering all sorts of goodies and waiting until Google drops it off within the same day. If you haven’t heard, the tech giant is making life all that more instantly gratifying by expanding its same-day delivery service. Google is by no means the only company offering this kind of service, but it’s Google, so this makes it kind of a big deal.

For now, people in the Bay Area can order products from businesses like Walgreens, Nob Hill Foods, Staples, Blue Bottle Coffee, Target and Palo Alto Sport Shop and Toy World and have everything shipped by Google for $5. If this works out for Google, expect the following 6 companies to expand their same-day delivery service.

6. Wal-Mart

The behemoth launched its own same-day delivery service just in time to the holiday season in 2012. Costumers can order products from Wal-Mart and have them delivered to their home for between $7 and $10. The service is available in northern Virginia, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Denver and the San Jose-San Francisco-area.

5. Shutl

Shutl was a startup that originated in the UK and is similar to Google’s service, meaning you shop online and Shutl handles the delivery. The company claims that they’re “the world’s fastest, most convenient and best-loved same-day and same-hour delivery service.” Shutl is only available in Manhatten, but there are plans to expand to San Francisco, Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle, Washington, Montreal and Toronto.

4. eBay

The auction giant launched its delivery service, eBay Now, last year and charges $5 per store. What makes eBay’s service standout, besides the one-hour delivery time, is that the company focuses on local stores, however, you can still get stuff from major retailers. eBay Now is available in San Francisco and New York.

3. TaskRabbit

TaskRabbit was designed specifically for people who don’t have the time, or capability, to do their shopping. But, this service offers so much more than just having your groceries brought home. Businesses can use TaskRabbit to order and have supplies delivered to the office. There’s also the ability to find house-cleaners or handymen to do those things around the house that you just can’t get to.

2. Amazon

Amazon are no strangers to same-day delivery service. The online shopping titan has offered Local Express Delivery Option since 2009 and can be found in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Bernardino Area, Seattle and Washington, D.C. The service costs $8.99 plus plus 99 cents an item.

1. Postmates

This startup takes the same-day delivery service to a whole new level. For example, after placing an order, you’re sent a photo and bio of your delivery person, aka you ‘Postmate’. Postmates also will inform you if a product is right around the corner, because that would be pointless for everyone, and they’ll also hook you up with all kinds of stores and restaurants in your neighborhood via Foursquare.

Is Same-Day Delivery What People Want?

In most cases it’s not same-day delivery that people want, but rather, free-delivery and lower prices.

According to a study conducted by Boston Consulting Group, only 9% of the 1,500 U.S. consumers surveyed “cited same-day delivery as a top factor that would improve their online shopping experience, while 74% cited free delivery and 50% cited lower prices.” With the exception of some city dwellers with a little extra cash, same-day service isn’t a priority.

Who Is the Winner?

Competition is here, on multiple levels. Companies that offer the fastest deliveries at the lowest cost will have a huge advantage over their competition.

The winner is the consumer who gets faster service at cheaper prices. The loser is big-box retailers with huge shopping areas with little traffic.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock