Amazon Prime Hits 147 Million U.S. Subscribers

Amazon Prime box feature

Amazon Prime is approaching 150 million members in the U.S. alone, as the global figure has topped 200 million and subscribers are renewing at a high rate, according to the final shareholder letter from departing CEO Jeff Bezos and figures from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.

Bezos said also said Amazon shoppers complete 28% of their purchases in three minutes or less, and half of all purchases in less than 15 minutes, using that as a basis to arrive at a value creation figure of $126 billion in 2020 among Amazon Prime members compared to store trips averaging an hour.

Amazon indicated there were 150 worldwide Amazon Prime members a year ago, a 33% increase in that time.

CIRP said Amazon Prime membership increased 24.6% between March 2020 – when it was 118 million – and March 2021, adding 61% of Amazon shoppers said they belonged to the program.

“In the full year of pandemic shopping, Amazon Prime boosted membership at a faster rate than in the past few years,” said Mike Levin, a partner and cofounder of CIRP. “Amazon added about 30 million U.S. members in the past year, as homebound consumers found the shipping benefits and other features highly relevant. The elevated renewal rates allowed Amazon to keep even more customers and reduce churn. And, as the conversion rate from trial to paid membership recovers from lower levels a year or two ago, Amazon is adding more members without losing existing ones.”

In terms of retention rates for Prime, CIRP said as of March 31, 2021, the 30-day conversion rate for Prime was 69%, rising to 93% in the first year and a near automatic 98% after the first year. The 30-day rate was flat from March 2020, but the first year and after first year figures inched up from 90% and 96%, respectively.

CIRP noted that Amazon Prime’s retention rates have been helped by the switch to offering a monthly subscription option a couple years ago.

Clearly, the COVID-19 pandemic made shipping benefits more valuable and helped boost renewals, now at the highest levels we’ve seen in the eight years we’ve studied the program,” said Josh Lowitz, CIRP’s other partner and cofounder.

CIRP bases its findings on surveys of 500 U.S. consumers who bought something on between Jan. 1 and March 31, 2021.