The number of Amazon Prime memberships rose 35% in 2015 to 54 million, or nearly half of all U.S. households, according to a report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. Amazon itself hasn’t reported its number of Prime membership except to say that it’s in the “tens of millions.”
Half of last year’s new Prime members signed up during the last three months, including the holidays, and its July Prime Day also boosted membership. The other half of the new sign-ups were mostly spread evenly throughout the year, according to the report.
Amazon’s Prime members are extremely sticky for the retailer. Nearly three quarters (74%) convert compared to 13% of non-Prime members, according to a study last summer from Millward Brown Digital. That study estimated that half of all U.S. households could be Amazon Prime members by 2020, something that’s almost been reached already if CIRP numbers are to be believed.
Even aside from Prime, Amazon literally is the “first place” many shoppers go online. That is, they use the company’s impressive database more often than a search engine, even Google, just to find information on possible purchases. They do so because item descriptions are detailed, with specifications clearly stated and user reviews on most items numerous enough—and mostly objective enough—to be helpful, most of the time.
From there, the expectations are that Amazon will have among the lowest, if not the lowest, prices compared to anything online or in nearby stores. Chances are good that an item you’re looking for will be there thanks to its overwhelmingly large assortment, and even if it isn’t, close alternatives will be suggested—there’s no “item not found” issue at Amazon.
Then there’s its fulfillment, which for Prime members includes free two-day shipping on loads of things, and which is generally swift, accurate, and dependable.
The retailer also announced that its Exclusive platform, which features products not available anywhere else, exceeded $50 million in sales since its launch last March, and its number of active merchants grew 50% last year.