Fees and benefits differ around the globe, but in the United States, Prime costs 99 dollars per year and offers the members free access to a library of TV shows, online movies, music tracks, originals, and a small number of Kindle books. An array of speedy and free delivery options for the orders made on its site are even a big part of the package.

Bezos keenly told the shareholders that in the year 2017, Amazon shipped more than five billion items with Prime globally, and many more new members joined in Prime than in any other previous year, both globally and in the U.S. taken together. The figure would have been boosted by the launch of the Prime into new markets such as Singapore, Mexico, and the Netherlands in the last year. Clearly a fan of the huge numbers, the CEO pointed out that the members of the United States presently receive unlimited free two-day shipping on more than 100 million various items.

When it began in the year 2005, the Amazon Prime was a pretty basic offering, but since then, especially with its delivery operation, it has expanded to make the deliveries considerably faster, and in some locations has the delivery guy knocking on the door within a few minutes to an hour of clicking on the Buy button.

Jeff Bezos pointed out that its latest Prime Day, the highly publicized online shopping festival of the company, was its largest global shopping event ever. He said that the event got them to see more new Prime members joining in the Prime than in any other day in their history.

The company has been tweaking its Prime membership options over the years in a bid to pull in more punters. In the year 2016, for an instance, it started offering an 11 dollars-a-month option (now 13 dollars) alongside its 99 dollars-a-year offering. Although more expensive, the reports suggest that it has proved to be popular, with somewhere in the region of a quarter of Prime members presently choosing to pay monthly.

Partner and co-founder of research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, Josh Lowitz, said last year that they thought that the monthly membership option appeals to the later Prime adopters, with a trivial, potentially temporary bond, that eventually yields a long-term commitment. He further added that with a smaller-dollar, single-month decision, the new plan winds up helping with retention rates that average already 85 percent for a member renewing after their initial year.

For the frequent Amazon shoppers, the money that they save on shipping may be the immediate benefit. Alternatively, if they do not require an item right away, they could score some rewards by not opting for the quickest shipping option. With the “Free No-Rush Shipping”, the Amazon shoppers either gain rewards on their future buy or gain discounts immediately, by simply agreeing to receive their order within six business days. The Prime members could even get early access to the “lightning deals” of Amazon, in which the company offers huge discounts on selected items for a stipulated time.