Swelling Amazon Prime subscriber numbers can bolster eCommerce operations

Industry Insight

The Amazon Prime subscription service, which gives buyers numerous perks ranging from free two-day shipping to streamed content such as movies and music, continues to grow. A recent report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners estimates that approximately 42 percent of Amazon's United States customer base now belongs to the program. That figure amounts to upward of 41 million shoppers.

CIRP was quick to note that, month-to-month, that number has declined a bit, but that is mainly due to people who signed up for free trial periods during the holidays then allowed their subscriptions to lapse. However, the net result is still a small increase in Amazon Prime users. Amazon Prime users tend to spend more money than the average shopper, with Internet Retailer reporting the average Prime member spends $1,500 annually with Amazon, nearly double that of traditional Amazon shoppers.

Capitalizing on Amazon Prime
For Amazon Prime subscribers, the service is just one more reason for them to shop on Amazon instead of at other retail destinations. However, that does not mean merchants have to lose customers to Amazon – if marketplace sellers opt to leverage Fulfillment by Amazon, they too can sell Amazon Prime-eligible items. This can be a significant advantage, even just compared to other Amazon marketplace sellers that are not utilizing Prime effectively.

With the number of Amazon Prime subscribers on the rise, selling to these customers will be pivotal for merchants on the marketplace. Fortunately, Internet Retailer reported during the Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition that Amazon was rolling out a program that would allow even retailers that are not using FBA to offer Prime-eligible products.

During an Amazon-focused workshop, it was revealed that some marketplace sellers with strong selling and fulfillment records were able to participate in a new invite-only program that allows them to list their items as Prime-eligible, even if the seller did not use FBA. This gives marketplace sellers even more options for selling to shoppers on the Amazon marketplace and allows reputable sellers to keep up with competitors even if they opt not to use FBA.

Amazon Prime was a hop topic of conversation at the IRCE, with many sellers noting how popular the program is. With Amazon opening up and allowing more sellers to move Prime-eligible items, proactive sellers will only benefit as a result.