20% of Americans use Amazon Prime

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This is a fairly startling figure: as of the end of September it’s reported that 65 million people in the USA have an Amazon Prime membership.

The number comes from the Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) after a survey. And considering the USA has a population in the region of 325 million that means 1 in 5 Yanks are Prime users. And, according to CIRP that means too that 52% of Amazon shoppers are Prime customers. Jeff Bezos has said that he wants to make the Prime offering so good that seems “irresponsible” not to sign up. He’s well on his way.

In the US annual subscription to Amazon Prime confers such benefits as free two-day shipping, streaming video and music services and lots of other things. The new numbers suggest that prime membership has grown 38% in the past year.

What does this mean to retailers? Prime buyers are loyal and spendy (and seeing as they’re now over 50% of the Amazon base) you want to plug into their custom. That’s easier for sellers using FBA. So if you’re selling on Amazon and don’t have some or all of your lines in FBA, it could well be worth considering it. Or reconsidering it.

From a UK perspective, it’s fair to say that Prime penetration isn’t as high and usage isn’t as strong but it’s still a vital chunk of the marketplace.

3 Responses

  1. This does not surprise myself. I go out to the States a fair bit, when you get out of the Cities, many large towns don’t really even have a high street anymore. A walmart and maybe an outlet centre. We are always 5-10 years behind the States. We have an even more “want now” mentality than ever. Amazon are good, they have some excellent offerings. I have PRIME myself, it is excellent value for money, music, books, TV, prime exclusives etc, they are innovative and while many stand still or look back they are always trying something new.
    You cannot compete with it. As an FBA seller I think they are expensive to sell on, and even more so on Build international listings, I also think they put a lot of people out of business (some deserve to). Amazon have a foothold now and 90% of people out there follow the crowd.
    It amazes me when I sell DIRECT and can be 25% a better price people still pay more to buy the same product on Amazon or even eBay.
    Thing is While others alway look at the next quarter and think short term they are looking five years ahead.
    Facebook are just waking up to this and the power they have, I now have a SHOP on my actual facebook page and they have just started trialing this.
    This year I have not been putting stock into Amazon and fighting to the death penny by penny and have held back till everyone else sold out, now my Amazon sales are outstripping everything else 10 to 1. People don’t want to think these days it is very much click and buy. On the downside Amazon are one of the reasons the likes of Philip Green are now running to the hills as they know that way of retailing is finished it will cost jobs.

  2. Interesting. I stopped using Prime myself because I found goods were often cheaper elsewhere, and there wasn’t anything I fancied on Amazon Video (and Spotify is free). I suspect I’ll be “irresponsible” for quite a while … unless Amazon buy HBO and cricket rights, perhaps.

    I’m still curious as to why Amazon shareholders are happy on the returns they’ve got these last 20 years+.


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