#amazon prime

Greg Bensinger:

Amazon said it is considering a more than 50% increase in the U.S. to its popular “Prime” two-day membership program to help cover increased shipping and fuel costs.

The change – of between $20 and $40 annually – would be the first in the nine-year history of the Prime program. Amazon has brought in millions of higher-spending customers through the program, which promises unlimited shipping on many items, as well as video streaming for U.S. customers.

I would have absolutely no problem paying this — that’s how much of a steal Amazon Prime is right now. And it seems like a lot of folks I follow on Twitter feel the same way.

Speaking of Amazon, here’s Jason Del Ray on some insane numbers the company is projected to see from Kindle owners:

Based on its research and analysis, CIRP estimates that Kindle owners spend $1,233 per year on Amazon compared to $790 per year for Amazon shoppers who don’t own one of the company’s e-readers or tablets. Kindle owners aren’t necessarily buying more at a shot, but are buying more frequently.

“Another way to look at Kindle Fire and Kindle e-Reader is as a portal to Amazon.com,” CIRP’s Mike Levin said in a statement. “Kindle Fire provides access to everything Amazon sells, while Kindle e-Reader has become the way that Amazon customers buy books, Amazon’s original product line.”

On the surface, at least, one could make the argument then that Amazon could potentially drop prices on the devices to get them into the hands of more people, since they become more valuable customers. But, drop prices too far and you may attract a different set of customers that may cause that spending disparity to shrink.

This, in a nutshell, is why I think it’s probably smart to think of any phone Amazon does as more of a “Amazon Prime Phone” and less of a “Kindle Phone” (even if it’s called something more along those lines). It’s sole purpose may be to supercharge Amazon sales (both digital and physical)

Alistair Barr on the impending launch of “Pantry”, a new project by Amazon to take on bulk players like Costco and Sam’s Club:

The service will be targeted at existing members of Amazon’s Prime shipping program. It will launch with about 2,000 products typically found in the center of grocery stores, such as cleaning supplies, kitchen paper rolls, canned goods like pet food, dry grocery items like cereal and some beverages.

Amazon will let Prime shoppers put as many of these items into a set sized box, up to a specific weight limit. If the products fit and they don’t exceed the maximum weight, Amazon will ship the box for a small fee.

The only thing surprising here is that Amazon didn’t move into this space sooner. This could, quite literally, be huge.