In the Washington Post this morning, “technology columnist” Geoffrey Fowler suggests that readers should dump their Amazon Prime memberships. He asks what are users giving up in order to shop at Amazon and argues that Prime is worth less than his subscriptions to Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and Spotify.
The $99 yearly fee that I pay for Prime is a no-brainer. Amazon has taken an entire mall, combined it with Target, Kroger, GNC, Academy, Home Depot, and others to create the best shopping experience in history. Even with all the selection, Fowler complains that Amazon “has no problem cutting off our access to (their) competitors’ products,” as if Burger King is selling the McFlurry and Apple Stores are stocking the Samsung Galaxy.
Amazon Prime is the most valuable subscription I have. Here’s why:
In the last year, I’ve bought golf shoes, hair care products, cologne, gym clothes, and a bike seat using Prime. I ordered 133 items in 2017 – all of them delivered in 2 days (none were late). In 2016, I ordered 174 times taking my two-year total to 307 orders. Each one arrived on time and accurate – a feat no other online store can match that.
I also have vitamins and other monthly items on a bundled subscription – Amazon automatically sends the items and gives me a 15% discount. The most important convenience: I have 1 password. And one place to track my orders. But even without Prime, I’d likely do the bulk of my shopping with Amazon anyways.
I expect I can get pretty much anything on Amazon. Their selection is unmatched. I expect I’ll receive it all within 2 days. Prime has allowed (forced?) Amazon to master the supply chain in order to meet my expectations. And I expect that if there are ever any problems, Amazon will take care of it. Amazon hasn’t just met my expectations; they’ve completely changed the way I think. Now, I expect other online retailers to live up to the Amazon standard.
Prime Video has several original shows I like and a ton of documentaries. It has movies, plenty of childrens’ programs, and has added 1100 tv episodes in the just the last 90 days (there are several thousand full tv seasons, too). Prime Music is an upgrade from Spotify and Pandora and allows me to listen to entire albums, relisten to songs, and is commercial-free.
Amazon Prime Video is, at worst, a great companion to Netflix and Prime Music is a better option than Spotify. Both are included free with my membership – neither carries the $10/month added cost like Netflix and Spotify.
In total, my household made 320 orders since 1/1/16, making Prime’s $100/year cost well worth it just in gas, shopping trips, and hassles alone. Amazon continues to innovate and add value to Prime memberships – which is why 90 million Americans disagree with Columnist Fowler.