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Amazon launches new savings hub, renames discount Prime program

amazon access
Amazon is making it easier to obtain discounts.

Amazon is responding to inflation concerns with a “one-stop shop” for its discount offerings and a rebranding of a reduced-price Prime membership.

Starting Monday, Oct. 3, customers can visit Amazon Access to find information on a variety of discount programs the e-tail giant offers, including paying for online grocery orders with federal SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits, the Amazon Cash program that enables online shopping without a debit or credit card, the Amazon Subscribe & Save discount delivery program for home essentials, and Amazon layaway.

“Given the tough economic climate with many facing rising costs on essential needs, we want our customers to know about all the accessible offerings available on Amazon, no matter their circumstances,” Amazon said in a corporate blog post.

Amazon introduces Prime Access
Amazon is also launching a formally branded version of its discounted membership program for qualifying government assistance recipients. Now known as “Prime Access,” the program offers eligible customers who sign up to get all the exclusive benefits and perks of a Prime membership for $6.99 a month – more than 50% off the cost of a full-priced membership. 

According to Amazon, it is rolling out the newly renamed Prime Access offering as membership in its discount Prime membership program for households that receive benefits from one of 10 government assistance programs expanded by more than 300% from 2019 to the end of 2021.

“Amazon launched a grassroots program to listen and learn from customers in communities across the country,” Amazon said in its blog post. “In fact, this customer feedback is central to the design of our products and services. We found that many of our customers are looking for ways to save money and time, now more than ever.”

U.S. customers can learn about Prime Access and sign up for a 30-day free trial at Consumers can qualify in minutes by uploading a valid proof of ID or government assistance documentation. Amazon also offers a discount Prime subscription, Prime Student, geared toward qualifying college students.

Holiday shoppers to look for bargains, shop online
Amazon is easing access to its discount offerings as shoppers are scaling back their holiday spending plans due to ongoing inflation. According to a recent study of U.S. consumers by global consulting firm AlixPartners, 30% of respondents said they plan to spend less this year than last (only 17% plan to spend more).

Forty percent of respondents plan to buy more affordable brands this year due to inflation impacting prices, while 39% plan to buy at least half their purchases on sale.

In good news for Amazon, 40% plan of respondents said they plan to do the majority of their shopping online (up 10 percentage points from a similar AlixPartners survey in pre-pandemic 2019).

The firm also forecast a tepid 4 to 7% increase in holiday sales (October 1 through December 31) over last year — which at the inflation rate of 8.3% at the mid-September release date of the survey would mean a decrease in real sales for retailers.

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