Is Amazon Making Prime Primer?

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has apparently increased the number of items available through its prime shipping program about 10 percent compared with last year, according to an estimate published Friday (June 14) by private equity firm Robert W. Baird & Co. The firm puts the actual number of items now accessible through Amazon Prime at 19 million.

Coincidentally, not only does that number reflect a 10 percent rise from last year, according to the Baird note, but it also brings the percentage of all Amazon products covered under prime to 10 percent of all Amazon inventory. If correct, Amazon Prime has an even greater fondness for the number 10. The 8-year-old, $79-a-year program, according to the Baird figures, now has about 10 million members.

The report also said that Amazon has ample room to grow prime, according to an Internet Retailer story. "We view the nearly 90 percent of products not currently Prime eligible as a key motivator for Amazon to expand the appeal of the service," the Baird report said. "Loyal [Prime] shoppers typically order three to four times more units as non-members, with a natural inclination toward buying Prime-eligible products."

A report earlier this year from financial data firm Morningstar Inc. and Consumer Intelligence Research Partners LLC estimated that the average Prime member spent $1,200 annually (that includes the $79 membership fee) compared with $600 for the average non-Prime Amazon customer, the Internet Retailer story said.

The Baird report also estimated the overall percentage increase in the types of products sold by Amazon. Measured by gains from the first quarter of 2013 to the second quarter of 2013, the report says that cellphones and accessories, patio, lawn and garden furniture, and industrial and scientific items had the largest percentage gains. By contrast, grocery and gourmet foods, clothing and accessories, and music had the largest declines.

For more:
- See Internet Retailer story

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