Free and fast shipping, exclusive deals, and a special credit card could all help your business thrive with an Amazon Prime account.
Amazon Prime isn't just for free music and video streaming, although those are nice perks. It can be a useful business tool if you know how to take advantage of it.
This membership program is designed to offer loyalty perks. You can sign up for $99 per year or $10.99 per month. Sure, it comes with free two-day shipping, free streaming of videos and music, and access to free e-books. And members can cash in on tons of great deals during the e-tailer's annual Prime Day of sales, which will kick off on July 16, 2018. But businesses can now extend their Prime membership to their Amazon Business accounts.
Amazon now has more than 100 million U.S. Prime members. Those members spend an average of $1,300 per year. Membership starts with a 30-day free trial, which can be canceled before the 30 days is up.
In addition to free two-day shipping, some Prime items are available for same-day delivery in eligible zip codes. In select cities, you can even get one-hour delivery of products. If you've linked your Amazon Business account to your Prime account, you can get improved order tracking and Amazon's tax exemption program.
Prime members get a 30-minute head start on Amazon Lightning Deals, which are constantly changing. Lightning Deals are limited to one per customer, but they are time sensitive. A recent survey of deals included 24 percent off a 210-piece Stanley tool set and 68 percent off a Grillux vegetable grill basket. Not revolutionary, but still helpful.
The savings really ratchet up on Amazon's annual Prime Day sales extravaganza. Beginning at 3 p.m. PT on July 16, 2018, and continuing for 36 hours, hundreds of thousands of items go on sale to Prime members exclusively. New offers are posted every five minutes. And new this year, members can also get savings by going to a Whole Foods Market. When you spend $10 in a store you get $10 to spend on Amazon.com.
Those who use their voices to order products on Prime Day are additionally eligible for Alexa-specific deals. This is only if they use the AI built into much of Amazon's own hardware, including the Amazon Echo,Echo Dot, Echo Show, Amazon Tap, Fire TV and Fire tablets.
Amazon Prime members are eligible for an Amazon Prime Store Card, with no annual fee. It earns you 5 percent back on every Amazon purchase, assuming there's no promotional financing. Store Card members can choose promotional financing on orders of more than $149, to be paid back over a six-month period. For orders of more than $599, the time frame is one year, after which interest begins accruing. The APR was 26.24 as of press time. And on Prime Day, if you use your Amazon card at Whole Foods you get 10 percent back.