A new study by eMarketer says more than half (51.3 percent) of U.S. households will have Amazon Prime memberships this year, a number that would equal 63.9 million households in total.
Prime membership growth will be driven by lower-income households and other Prime holdouts, who will be enticed by Amazon’s payment installment plan and other offerings.
Amazon raised the price of a Prime membership in May of 2018 to $119. Originally $79 when it was introduced in 2014, the membership was then raised to $99. Payment plans include an option of $12.99 a month, a discounted student membership at $59 a year, and a $5.99 a month fee for people on government assistance.
“New membership is driven by the company’s continuous expansion of Prime product categories, like groceries, apparel and pantry — as well as new options for media consumption, like books and video games,” said Martín Utreras, eMarketer's vice president of forecasting.
Another large incentive is the introduction of Amazon Household, a program allowing family members to share linked accounts for shopping and Prime content.
“Amazon’s flexible discount strategy shows it's trying to attract the long tail of the consumer market,” Utreras said.
Prime users tend to spend more money on Amazon than non-users, averaging $1,400 a year versus $600 a year.
Prime continuously adds new services for its members. At the end of February, Amazon announced the launch of Amazon Day, a new delivery service that lets Prime members in the U.S. pick the day of delivery each week.
In a press release, Amazon said with the new service Amazon will group together orders and deliver them on the same day of the week. Customers can also choose the two-day Prime shipping rate if they can’t wait for a specific product. Amazon said the new service should result in fewer packages. It’s part of the Seattle, Washington eCommerce giant’s sustainability efforts to achieve Shipment Zero, its vision to make all Amazon shipments net zero carbon, with 50 percent all of all shipments net zero by 2030.