August 27, 2012, 3:29 PM

Amazon gives Prime its props

 Amazon Prime accounts for more orders shipping free than Free Super Saving Shipping.

Lead Photo

Seven years after its debut, Amazon Prime accounts for more shipped items than does the e-retailer’s Free Super Saving Shipping Program, Amazon.com Inc. said today.

Amazon Prime enables consumers who pay its $79 annual fee to receive free, two-day shipping on more than 15 million items. Free Super Saving Shipping, launched a decade ago, provides free shipping on orders of more than $25.

Amazon does not say how many consumers have signed up for Prime. Scot Wingo, CEO of e-commerce services provider ChannelAdvisor Corp., which helps retailers sell on such online marketplaces as Amazon and eBay, puts the number at 18 million, though other estimates have been lower.

The e-retailer promotes Prime via benefits such as giving members access to streamed movies and TV shows via Prime Instant video. “We’ve also grown the Prime Instant Video library to more than 22,000 movies and TV episodes, all with unlimited streaming, and Prime members can borrow more than 180,000 books for free, with no due dates, using the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library,” says Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

In observing the ascendency of Prime today, Amazon, No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, also said that:

• The top items bought by Prime members this year are the Kindle Fire and the $79 Kindle, followed by Kindle Touch and “Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One,” the first installment in a series of erotic novels.

• The most watched TV series in Prime Instant Video is the first season of “Downton Abbey,” a look a class mechanics in early 20th century England.

• The most watched film in Prime Instant Video is the English-subtitled version of the film “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”

In a report earlier this summer, market research firm eDataSource said that in June, Amazon Prime members spent on average $47.42 per order, compared with $47.25 for other Amazon customers. Prime members also order more often than do other Amazon customers: In June, the average number of orders for Prime customers stood at 4.12, compared with 2.13 for other customers.

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