This year proved to be another record shopping holiday period for Amazon which saw lots of online activity. Amazon.com Inc reported that 10 million new members have signed up for the company's Prime service over the holiday season.
The Prime service, which cost customers an annual membership fee of $99 confers free two-day shipping and streaming on millions of qualifying items including select movies and songs, essential to drive its growth and margins. The two-day shipping was likely the big draw for customers particularly the last-minute shopping sprees that ensured to get to customers and their loved ones right in time for Christmas. Along with that a host of other perks that comes from being a member like Kindle perks such as e-book and video rentals, and even its one-hour delivery service, Amazon Now, which debuted last week in Manhattan, New York.
However, it is still unclear as to how many of the 10 million new members were simply making use of a standing 30-day free trial offer. The retail giant has never revealed the exact number of Prime subscribers, except to say it is in the tens of millions. Analysts believe it is growing at a rapid rate, and each year the company continues to try and come out with some new content.
Earlier, online retailer eBay closed down its Now delivery service and it seems that Amazon has taken over the feature, with the company announcing plans of expanding Amazon Now in other cities next year
Amazon said that consumers ordered more than 10 times as many products through the same-day delivery this holiday season, compared with a year earlier. It did not disclose the figures for Prime Now.
"We are working hard to make Prime even better and expanding the recently launched Prime Now to additional cities in 2015," CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement.
Last year, Amazon reported that more than half of its customers were using mobile devices to shop and this holiday season almost 60 percent of the company's customers went shopping on the retail giant through a mobile device indicating that transactions on mobile devices is becoming the default option. Cyber Monday was again the peak day for mobile shopping on Amazon.
"Mobile continues to accelerate the secular shift from offline to online purchases," said R.W. Baird analyst Colin Sebastian. "Consumer use-cases for last-minute shopping, in-store purchases and price comparison continue to expand."