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Amazon Prime is 85m members strong in the US

Amazon Prime reportedly has 85 million members in the US.

As Prime Day 2017 nears, Amazon Prime now has 85 million US members who spend an average of about $1300 a year, which is nearly double the $700 a year spent annually by non-members.

That’s according to equity securities research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), which analyzed Amazon shopping patterns in the second quarter of 2017.

According to CIRP’s figures, Prime membership is up 35% from the same period last year, when Amazon had 63 million Prime members. The updated figure is based on CIRP’s estimate that 63% of US Amazon customers are Prime members as of June 30, 2017.

“Amazon Prime membership basically doubled in the US in the past two years,” said Josh Lowitz, partner at CIRP, in a statement. “Quarterly growth measured as a percentage continues to slow down, which makes sense as the base of Prime members grew and penetration of the Amazon US customer base continues. Still, Amazon had another good quarter. Membership grew 6% in the most recent quarter, compared to 9% growth in the year-ago quarter ending in June 2016, accounting for five million new Prime members in each of the June quarters.”

On average, US Amazon Prime members shop at Amazon.com 25 times per year. In contrast, customers without Amazon Prime shop at Amazon.com an average of 14 times per year.

“Amazon Prime membership encourages much more frequent shopping, likely because the free shipping benefit knocks down a key barrier to buying online often and makes Amazon their first stop for online purchases,” added Mike Levin, partner at CIRP, in a release. “Otherwise, Amazon Prime members buy the same number of items per visit and spend roughly the same amount per visit as non-Prime members.”

What’s more, CIRP estimates 28% of Amazon Prime members pay for their membership monthly, rather than annually.

“The monthly payment option continues to grow,” Lowitz said. “Even though the total annual cost is higher, smaller monthly payments are more affordable and allow new Prime members to delay making a full-year commitment to the service. Along with accepting government benefits for low-income families and discounting Prime membership for families receiving government assistance, the monthly payment plan is consistent with Amazon’s apparent strategy to expand its reach to broader shopper demographics.”

CIRP based its findings on surveys of 500 US consumers who made an Amazon purchase from April to June 2017.

In February, Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos credited Prime with helping grow sales 22% year over year to nearly $44bn in Q4 2016.

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