By Craig Patterson
Seattle-based retail behemoth Amazon has provided an update on the popularity of its membership-based Amazon Prime in Canada, including information about product orders as well as its various streaming services. Amazon provided a ‘Best of Prime’ infographic, located below, to illustrate.
Perhaps the most startling is the revelation that Canadians ordered more than double the products with Amazon Prime free same-day delivery in 2018 over the year prior — Amazon is clearly gaining market share with its loyalty-focused Prime initiative, at a time of unprecedented competition in Canadian retail as an unprecedented number of international brands enter the market.
Amazon revealed that in Canada over the past year, the most gifted items from Amazon Prime were the Kindle Paperwhite e-reader, the Alexa-powered Amazon Echo Dot bluetooth smart speaker, as well as the larger Amazon Echo speaker. On ‘Amazon Prime Day’ in July, the best selling items in Canada included the Fire TV Stick and the Instant Pot 6 Qt. Amazon says that sales from small-and-medium-sized businesses far exceeded $1-billion during Prime Day in the summer.
Globally, more people signed up to become Amazon Prime members than at any time in its history, and they ordered about 2-billion products — which isn’t surprising given how quickly Amazon Prime has taken hold of the global market. In the spring of 2018, Amazon revealed that it had more than 100-million Amazon Prime subscribers around the world, each paying fees for free and fast shipping as well as Amazon’s video, music and video-game services.
Amazon also provided updates on the ‘most binge-watched’ original series videos on its Prime Video, as well as the most streamed music artist on Amazon Music. With its video-game ‘Twitch Prime’ offering, Amazon saw more than 50-million free game downloads — all three services are free for Amazon Prime members.
Amazon Prime costs an annual fee of $79 in Canada (Canadian dollars), which is a bargain compared to in the US where the annual fee is US $119. Amazon has said that it will likely raise the Canadian Amazon Prime fee in the future.
Loyalty programs such as Amazon Prime are being adopted by other retailers. Last week Loblaw announced its own program with an annual fee of $99, and Lululemon piloted a $128 loyalty fee in Edmonton this year which proved successful enough to roll it out into other markets.