Christmas Trees with Mobile Payments? That’s Amazon’s New Plan.

September 14, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

You remember that part of “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” where the Griswolds go out into the snowy wilderness in search of a “good old fashioned family Christmas tree”? Sure, we all remember how that turned out…psychopathic travelers, daughters frozen below the waist, and of course, a tree hauled out roots and all because someone forgot to bring an axe. Amazon is poised to make that Christmas tree vastly easier to get by making such items available via its usual interface.

Amazon plans to have these trees available starting in November, and some trees will even come available with Prime shipping, making them arrive potentially before you even start getting your Thanksgiving plans around. The trees are expected to be shipped within 10 days of cutting—which should make them at least reasonably fresh—and will be shipped in a large box direct to your door. Customers will have choices here, including Douglas fir, Fraser fir, and Norfolk Island pines.

Other Christmas-related greenery—wreaths, garlands and similar items—will also be on hand, reports note. This is a step up from Amazon’s previous entry into this field; it offered smaller trees last year, but orders were just a tiny portion of overall sales. In fact, ecommerce represented less than two percent of the 27 million Christmas trees sold last year.

On the one hand, this is a great idea as far as convenience goes. Ordering your tree in for arrival on a certain day keeps shoppers out of the cold and crowded tree lots, and makes things that much easier to work with. On the other hand, it doesn’t get much more impersonal than ordering a tree off of Amazon, and there’s likely a quality issue as well. Trees don’t tend to last all that long after they’ve been cut down—some more so than others—and unless Amazon’s taking care to pack the tree in some kind of hydration, you might well get a pile of dry sticks instead of a green, lovely tree.

Still, it’ll be interesting to see how it works out. With October just a couple weeks away, holiday shopping season will start up in earnest soon and give us all something new to consider in the field.