Amazon Prime


For the first time in Amazon’s history, CEO Jeff Bezos has revealed the number of customers who pay for a Prime membership.

In his annual letter to shareholders, Bezos said Amazon now has over 100 million paid Prime members worldwide.

In the US, Amazon offers a $99 annual Prime membership, which gives customers access to perks including unlimited free two day shipping (or same day and two-hour delivery in major cities); unlimited access to Amazon’s music and video streaming services; and one-hour restaurant delivery in select locations, among other benefits.

Bezos noted more new members joined Prime in 2017, 13 years after it launched, than in any previous year and said Prime Day 2017 was Amazon’s biggest global shopping event ever—until surpassed by Cyber Monday—with more new Prime members signing up than any other day in the e-commerce giant’s history.

The full Prime offer is not currently available in Australia. Instead, customers have access to Prime Video (a service similar to Netflix) and Twitch Prime (a livestreaming site predominantly for gamers), with Prime Shipping expected to launch mid-year.

Fulfilment by Amazon, where Amazon picks, packs and ships product on behalf of third-party sellers, launched here in February.

Amazon marketplace

Bezos said for the first time in Amazon’s history more than half the units sold on the platform worldwide were from third-party sellers. Marketplace launched in the US in 2000 and continues to attract retailers, with more than 300,000 US-based small- and medium-sized businesses starting to sell on Amazon in 2017.

In contrast, intelligence firm Marketplace Pulse reported in March this year that Amazon Australia had reached 10,000 sellers on the marketplace, after launching in December 2017. It predicted Amazon Australia would exceed 50,000 sellers by the end of 2018.

Writing 20 years after his first shareholder letter in 1997, Bezos said Amazon would continue to try and meet ever-rising customer expectations.

“One thing I love about customers is that they are divinely discontent. Their expectations are never static—they go up. It’s human nature.”

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