There is absolutely no doubt that Amazon is one of the largest online retailing platforms in the whole world, and that it is patronized by so many people who shop on the internet that it is sometimes negatively described by detractors as a monopoly in everything but name. But while many online denizens could say that Amazon has a lot of customers, nobody could get any official figures to indicate it. The company’s founder Jeff Bezos has never been chatty about statistics for Amazon, although a recent letter to shareholders may see him relaxing on the secrecy, with a number.
Said number is of how many consumers are enrolled in Amazon Prime, the online retail giant’s membership program, with month and annual term options. Jeff Bezos has, according to The Verge, finally broke his statistical confidentiality 13 years after Amazon started operations. The shareholder letter, sent out this Wednesday, April 18, reveals that over 100 million people have subscribed to Amazon Prime, paying either $12.99 monthly or $99 annually in the US (with equivalent currency pricing in 15 more countries worldwide). That is just over the last calculated estimate by analysts in 2017 regarding Prime membership, about 90 million subscribers.
In a way, the figures rattled off by outside analysts and provided by Bezos himself prove the Amazon founder’s own estimate that the previous year may have been the high point of the Prime membership program. According to him, more Amazon shoppers have signed up for Prime in that whole year compared to all the years before. Over five billion distinct products deliveries were also made over Prime in 2017. The subscription gives some great perks for online retailers like free shipping if within two days, discounted pricing and exclusive deals, freebie products, and Prime Video and Music streaming access.
Jeff Bezos was in his usual cheeky manner when he started off his letter to shareholders with some unsolicited business advice. In particular, he wrote of the key value of having “high standards”, and this is reflected in Amazon product sales. While third-party merchants now comprise over half the goods being retailed on the platform, Bezos remarks that products carrying the Amazon brand are still hot sellers, in particular their mobile hardware devices like the Echo smart speaker and Fire tablet computer which reached record sales highs last year. And the founder is confident that Amazon will grow even more.
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