For the first time in Amazon’s history, CEO Jeff Bezos revealed the number of customers who pay for a Prime membership — and it's big.
In a letter to shareholders
, Bezos revealed a number of recent milestones, one of them being that 13 years post-launch, the company has exceeded 100 million paid Prime members globally. In addition, more new members joined Prime in 2017 than in any previous year – both worldwide and in the United States.
Among the benefits that are attracting new members include unlimited free two-day shipping on over 100 million different items in the United States, as well as accelerated shipping times through Prime’s free same-day and one-day delivery services. These programs are available in more than 8,000 cities and towns. The company’s Prime Now service is available in more than 50 cities worldwide across nine countries.
Bezos also reported that 2017 was “our best year yet” for hardware sales, as customers bought “tens of millions” of Echo devices. Echo Dot and Fire TV Stick with Alexa were the best-selling products across the company, and across all categories and all manufacturers.
Prime Day 2017 was Amazon’s biggest global shopping event to date, that is, until volume was surpassed by Cyber Monday. The online giant’s 30-hour shopping extravaganza also had “more new members joining Prime than any other day in our history,” he added in the letter.
Bezos also thanked the company’s employees, a workforce of more than 560,000 people.
This team is also beginning “the technical work needed to recognize Prime members at the point-of-sale,” across the company’s Whole Foods Market division, he said in the letter. “[We] look forward to offering more Prime benefits to Whole Foods shoppers once that work is completed.”
The natural foods grocer and Amazon are wasting no time in developing these new benefits for Prime members. Whole Foods announced
that it will discontinue its rewards program and digital coupons on its mobile app and website starting May 2, and replace these programs with new perks that target Prime members.