Amazon still won’t officially reveal how many consumers worldwide participate in its Amazon Prime membership program, but it did today offer a few new stats related to that program’s adoption and growth. The company on Tuesday announced that more new, paid members joined Prime worldwide in 2017 than any other year. It also noted that over 5 billion items worldwide shipped with Prime in 2017, including via one-day and two-day shipping.
The company has never before released details around how many items it has shipped via Prime in a year’s time, and declined to provide last year’s figures for comparison purposes.
The closest it got last year was revealing that over a billion items shipped via Prime and Fulfillment by Amazon during the 2016 holidays.
To some extent, the increases in membership and shipments represent the expanded reach of Prime in 2017, and its more recent arrival in key markets – not only its ability to convert online shoppers to paying members.
For example, Prime in 2017 arrived in Mexico, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Singapore, in addition to existing markets including the U.S., U.K., Spain, Japan, Italy, India, Germany, France, China, Canada, Belgium and Austria.
Contributing to Prime’s growth is the fact that the program is still relatively new to one of the world’s biggest markets, India, where it launched back in July 2016. Though India didn’t start offering Prime this year, its existence in that country has certainly impacted 2017’s numbers.
For instance, India became Amazon’s fastest-growing market for Amazon Prime this year, having grown nearly 5 times between the beginning of the year and October, Amazon stated earlier this fall. Today, the company told us that more Prime members joined in India than any other country in its first year.
Amazon Prime has grown stateside in 2017, as well. A third-party estimate from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, released a few months ago, said that 63 percent of Amazon customers are now Prime members, and that Prime had grown to 90 million U.S. Prime members.
While we don’t know the official number of Prime members worldwide, we do know that the number of “new paid members” in 2017 is at least more than 20 million. This is because Amazon reported “tens of millions” new paid Prime members in Q4 2016 – a number which Amazon confirmed to mean 20 million.
Prime shipments have also likely been impacted by Amazon’s ability to get its Alexa-powered devices into customers’ homes, where they enable easy re-ordering of household staples, like packaged goods, diapers, dog food, and more. After the holidays, Amazon announced it sold “tens of millions” of Alexa-enabled devices worldwide over the holidays. That indicates over 20 million Alexa devices have been sold to date, according to various third-party analysis.
Amazon today added that its Alexa-powered Echo Dot along with Fire TV Stick were the best-selling products of the year on Amazon, across manufacturers. They were also the top sellers on Black Friday and the holidays thanks to deep discounts and other big pushes from Amazon.
Amazon offered a few other milestones today, alongside its Prime shipment and membership numbers. For example, it noted that Prime members used their digital benefits including Prime Video, Prime Music, and Prime Reading more than ever before.
It also said December 30, 2017 was the biggest streaming day of the year around the world for Prime Video; Twitch Prime members worldwide ordered more than five million pre-release games with a Prime discount; and Amazon’s fulfillment and shipping network increased by more than 30 percent in square footage worldwide in 2017.