Based on its own Amazon customer survey, securities research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) estimates there were 101 million U.S. Amazon Prime members as of December 31, 2018. CIRP further reported that 62 percent of Amazon’s U.S. customers are Prime members.
Amazon hasn’t given up exact Prime membership figures for the U.S., but in a letter to shareholders in April 2018, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos stated that there were more than 100 million Prime members worldwide.
Prime members individually spend more than twice as much on Amazon each year than non-members. Amazon customers who don’t belong to the Prime service spend about $600 on average each year. Prime members spend approximately $1,400 per year or 133 percent more than non-members.
Even if Prime members and non-members bought the same products, however, that doesn’t mean Amazon makes 133 percent more money from Prime members, because the, ahem, prime reason many people sign up for Prime is for free two-day shipping for many products listed on the site. So Amazon’s shipping costs would be deducted from the profit. Regardless of the profit per transaction, however, Prime members are valuable for Amazon because of sales volume. If it’s known for anything, Amazon is known for volume, which gives the company the incentive to acquire as many Prime members as it can.
“Amazon grew to over 100 million U.S. Prime members in the quarter,” said Josh Lowitz, CIRP partner and co-founder. “Membership growth has slowed but continued steadily in the holiday quarter. U.S. membership grew 10 percent in the past year, slower than before, but still significant on a huge base and after years of rapid growth. Membership doubled in three years, and almost quadrupled in five years, from 26 million members in December 2013.”
CIRP also surveyed U.S. Amazon Prime customers about the type of membership fee payment structure they used. There were three answer choices: Annual, monthly, and other. Customers who answered the question with “other” either had a free trial, shared a membership, or didn’t know how they paid. According to CIRP’s survey, 58 percent of the respondents paid annually, 36 percent paid monthly, and 7 percent were on a free trial, a shared membership, or didn’t know.
CIRP’s survey involved 500 U.S. customers who purchased on Amazon from October to December 2018.
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