Amazon extending Prime benefits to other sites

Digital Life

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(CNN) — Could an Amazon Prime membership become a first-class ticket to shopping across the Web? That seems to be what Amazon hopes.

Amazon has announced it will extend some of the perks it gives Prime members, like free two-day shipping, on other websites.

Tom Taylor, a vice president at Amazon, made the announcement Tuesday at Money2020, an online marketing conference in Las Vegas.

The first such agreement will be with AllSaints, a British fashion retailer.

“Think about the possibilities,” Rick Ascott, digital director at AllSaints, said at the event. “I can see a day when Prime members will have access to sneak previews and first chance to shop our new collections.”

Ascott said the partnership is aimed at getting new customers into AllSaints’ virtual doors.

Launched in 2005, Amazon Prime is a $99 annual membership that grants privileges such as faster shipping and access to the company’s library of streaming movies and music. In addition to the fee, Amazon likes Prime members because they tend to spend more money on the site.

The extended Prime benefits are part of Login and Pay with Amazon, an existing program the company has with outside retailers. Companies pay a fee to Amazon in return for making it possible for online shoppers to buy instantly using their Amazon accounts.

Ascott said the relationship has been a productive one. Amazon customers who put items in their “shopping cart” have been 34% more likely to purchase them, he said, and spend 15% more than non-Amazon customers.

But some retailers have been reluctant to give Amazon a bigger hand in how their business gets done on the Web. The company has been accused in the past of lowering its own prices to put the squeeze on competitors, even to the point of taking a short-term loss on some products.

And tech blog Re/Code quotes unnamed retailers as saying they’re not inclined to advertise their products on Amazon — a component of the Login and Pay plan — because they can’t control the context in which their ads will appear.

“When we go to open a store in the mall, we’re very careful about who is around us,” one retail executive told Re/code. “On Amazon, because they are serving up customized results, our stuff may appear next to some Joe Schmo or third party selling similar goods at half the price.”
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