Amazon has announced that more than 5bn items were shipped through its Prime service in 2017. Prime, which costs $99 a year or $10.99 a month, provides members with free two-day shipping on eligible purchases in the USA, as well as unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Prime Video, among other benefits.
Even though the company has been tight-lipped about its Prime members, Amazon will occasionally drop hints.
A Canadian-made item was also one of Amazon's hottest products in 2017.
In the USA the number of items available for unlimited free two-day shipping has doubled from 50 million to 100 million items and is in addition to Prime one and same day services available in more than 8,000 U.S. cities and towns, and two-hour delivery with Prime Now in more than 30 major cities.
The best-sellers of all were the Echo Dot and Fire TV Stick, which were not only the top-selling Amazon products but also "the best-selling products from any manufacturer in any category across all of Amazon", similar to what the company reported immediately following its Black Friday sales event. Prime membership continued to grow during the holidays as Amazon incented shoppers with free trial offers.
Prime is also available in the US, UK, Spain, Japan, Italy, India, Germany, France, China, Canada, Belgium and Austria. For example, the company added more content to its video service and reserving early film screenings for members.
Amazon shares made a strong start to the New Year, ending the U.S. trading session 1.67% higher at $1,189.01. His estimate of 60 million Prime members was derived from Cowen's survey of 2,500 consumers.