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Amazon ‘Primed’ for New Year after record holiday


Amazon is poised to set new sales records in 2015 after using the allure of free shipping to expose 10 million people to the wide range of benefits that are part of its $99 Prime service.

The key benefit of Prime is unlimited free two day shipping on roughly 20,000 items so offering a trial version of Prime during the time sensitive holiday season could prove to be an excellent tactic to bolster the ranks of paid Prime membership and drive long term loyalty.

Amazon typically offers few details regarding Prime such as total membership or renewal rates, but the retailer noted the holidays brought record growth for the service. Customers were said to have save more than $2 billion on free two-day shipping and 100 million more items shipped for free this holiday season compared to last year.

“This holiday season, Amazon shoppers saved billions through free shipping, and even more through our low prices. We are especially excited that 10 million new customers tried Amazon Prime for the first time,” said Jeff Wilke, Senior Vice President at typically offers free shipping on orders greater than $35, but the speed of the delivery can vary, as opposed to the certainty afforded with Prime. For example, customers who placed an order by Dec. 19 could have had the item delivered from free in time for Christmas, but with Prime the order cutoff date was pushed back to Dec. 22.

Over the last few years, the unlimited free two-day shipping service with Prime has become the preferred shipping method among Amazon customers, according to the retailer. Amazon said it now ships more than twice as many items with Prime than with conventional free shipping. In addition to the free shipping, Prime members in the U.S. receive instant streaming of tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes, one million songs, access to 700,000 books, unlimited photo storage, early access to promotional offers known as Lightening Deals.

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