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I am one of those strange people who think that Amazon Prime is perhaps the greatest thing since, well, Amazon.com itself. Pay a flat fee, and you can pretty much order anything you want from the big online merchant and get it delivered to your front door in 48 hours. In many ways, the convenience of going to one location to buy most of my stuff and not worry about shipping charges is why Amazon has started to take a bigger share of my household spend.
So unless it is a big brand product or a luxury item, Amazon has my shopping vote. And if that was not enough, when I do end up in a retail location, I do a price match with Amazon using its iPhone app – before making a purchase.
In a recent survey of smartphone users conducted by Google, nearly 79 percent of respondents used their smartphones for shopping, and three out of four smartphone users made purchases either in-store or online using their phones. Apparently seven out of 10 smartphone users turn to their phones while shopping in a store, which shows the phone is often in use from the time research begins until the moment a purchase is made.
But beyond the mobile shopping, what is helping Amazon transform into a one-stop shop is bigger inventory, convenient return policy and good service endears the company to many of us.
The ramifications of this behavior are going to be pretty profound, and in case of Amazon, for the better. The signs of a better future are already here for all to see. Ben Schachter, Internet analyst for Macquarie Securities in a research report estimated that Amazon’s revenue per active account on a trailing twelve-month basis has grown 121 percent since 2003 and 63 percent since 2006.
On an average, an Amazon customer spends about $245 every year across all its sites. In comparison, Amazon customers were spending about $111 per year in early 2003 and about $138 in early 2006. I am of the first belief that this number is going to go up even higher as Amazon has started to add a whole different slew of services.
Many of us underscore the importance of digital goods. Many of us buy digital version of music, movies and books with a casualness that adds to our monthly spending. (I have 11 unread books already on my Kindle app.) For instance, during the first quarter of 2011, Amazon saw a big jump in units sold, thanks to the growing demand for e-Books, a trend that is likely to continue according to Schachter. And that is only going to help increase the average spending on Amazon.
What does your Amazon spending behavior look like?