Amazon Prime Members Are Starting to Get Free Shipping on Other Websites
Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox
Amazon is unveiling the gifts early this year for its Prime members. The company just announced that its $99-a-year membership program now comes with free, unlimited photo storage in the Amazon Cloud drive (great for the snap-happy among us), but the real news is that Amazon Prime's free-shipping benefits will start bleeding out to other shopping websites, a move that has been in the works for some time now.
This is Amazon's big play to make its membership program the "VIP pass for the web," according to Re/code. The idea is that Amazon membership perks will extend beyond its site, providing exclusive free-shipping deals at a host of big-name retail sites.
At the moment, the effects are small: The fashion brand All Saints will offer free, next-day shipping on its website -- which is faster than Amazon Prime's typical two-day free shipping -- to all Amazon Prime members, who sign in with their Amazon credentials on AllSaints.com. While Re/code reports that the ecommerce giant approached bigger names including Abercrombie & Fitch and Neiman Marcus, All Saints is the only online retailer that has agreed to the partnership so far.
It's easy to see why Amazon is pushing this program – Prime members spend, on average, twice as much on the site as non-Prime members, and by adding free-shipping and other benefits (All Saints is apparently considering giving Prime customers a sneak peak at new products, along with exclusive access to clothing deals) from a list of popular online retailers, Amazon is making its membership considerably more enticing to a segment of online shoppers who haven't flocked to the service in the past.
Of course, first Amazon has to get retailers onboard, which could be a tough sell. Retailers have expressed concerns that the value of their brand will be washed-out by advertising on Amazon's site, while others are relunctant to grant the tech behemoth access to information about which items are popular with customers, Re/code reports. (Apparently, there's some nervous speculation that Amazon is looking to launch its own clothing line).
From All Saints' perspective, however, the deal with Amazon is a win – so far, the partnership has increased sales and reduced check-out times, an executive at the fashion brand told Re/code.
If Amazon can convince more big retailers to adopt a similar mindset, it will be getting its foot in the door of the $174 billion apparel industry.