The Prime service of Amazon.com is a tactic of the largest e-retailer in the world to keep its customers adhered to it through combining free shipping with video and music streaming services and other incentives and now the service has over 100 million subscribers, announced the company.
This information was revealed by the chief executive of the company Jeff Bezos through the annual letter to its shareholders. Launched 13 years ago, Prime was aimed as creating customer loyalty which is available for amazon users in the U.K at £79 and at $99 in the US for a yearly subscription.
“It’s a mind-boggling number that serves as a key barometer to how big Amazon’s kingdom has become,” said Daniel Ives at research group GBH Insights. Ives had earlier made estimated the number of Prime subscribers to be at about 92 million.
In 2017, more than 5 billion items were shipped to Prime members globally by Amazon, Bezos said in the letter.
However, in the field of digital streaming services, the largest rival of Amazon – Netflix, is way ahead of the e-retailer and has a paying customer base of 125 million globally with annual subscription rates of £85 annually. However, the amazon streaming services is ahead of another rival Spotify which has about 71 million paying members as well as ahead of Apple Music’s which has about 40 million paid customers in the music streaming industry.
Amazon’s library of 2 million music tracks is opened by the company to Prime subscribers with an additional option of gaining access to 38 million tracks in total with the users taking out a dedicated Amazon Music subscription.
According to estimates of Ives, twice as much time at Amazon one the average is spent by subscribers of Amazon Prime compared to non-subscribers even though the service costs money to Amazon with its free one-day shipping in the UK or the two-day in the US.
“It has become a golden ticket for Amazon,” he said.
Sale of the smart speaker from Amazon – the Echo and the virtual digital assistant Alexa has bene boosted by the Prime service. Users have the option of using these two to make purchases through voice commands in addition to the Dash ordering system which is a push-button ordering system.
The company is not engaged in slowly stopping all of the other loyalty programmes that are running and promoting Prime and at the recent acquisition of the U.S. supermarket chain Whole Foods the company is now offering a two-hour delivery from stores to members.
The current market value of Amazon is about $740bn. Only two other companies are valued more – Apple at about $900 billion, and Google’s corporate parent Alphabet at about $745 billion.
(Adapted from TheGuardian.com)