Amazon Prime Members: Still in It for Free Shipping - eMarketer

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Amazon Prime Members: Still in It for Free Shipping

The oldest, most fundamental perk is still what draws customers to the program

November 5, 2015

Most loyalty program members are clear about what they want from loyalty programs: free stuff. They join loyalty programs to earn discounts, and stay because the rewards are simple and beneficial.

Primary Reason that US Amazon Prime Customers Signed Up for a Prime Membership, 2013-2015 (% of respondents)

And it seems to be true in the case of Amazon Prime. The digital retail giant’s loyalty program started out as a free-shipping deal, where subscribers could pay an annual fee to get free two-day shipping on just about any purchase, no spending minimum required.

By now, it includes much more, from free over-the-top streaming of select TV shows and movies to free cloud storage for photos. The Prime program encourages members to adopt Amazon as their platform of choice for content ranging from digital video to books and music, turning the one-time online book retailer into a digital media ecosystem.

But according to RBC Capital Markets, which surveyed US Prime members in September 2015, the vast majority are still in it for the free two-day shipping: 78% said that was the primary reason they had signed up for the program.

What’s more, that figure had actually increased somewhat over the past two years.

Fewer than one in 10 Prime members had signed up because of streaming video, and just 1% had joined because of the Kindle Lending Library.

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