More than 10 million people tested out Amazon.com’s Prime membership for the first time this holiday season, according to the e-commerce behemoth.
While it remains to be seen how many of those limited-time members will remain paying users, it’s a strong indication of just how successful Amazon has been at infiltrating the holiday shopping season with its vast merchandise offerings and promises of speedy service. Prime promises unlimited free, two-day shipping on Prime-guaranteed items for $99 a year.
service speed has certainly accelerated. The last “Prime Now” order that was delivered in time for Christmas was placed at 10:24 p.m. Eastern Time on Christmas Eve and fulfilled just 42 minutes later (that ordered occurred in Manhattan). Last year, the last locally delivered express order was placed in the early afternoon on Dec. 24 and took over three hours to complete.
Amazon, which details a number of holiday season achievements that can be found here, makes it difficult to compare how the years stake up. While Amazon said more than 10 million people tried out the Prime membership service this year, in 2013 Amazon would only say that more than 1 million customers had tried out the offering during the third week of December. Amazon didn’t give a figure for the entire 2013 holiday season.
If Amazon can keep some of those customers on board in 2015, it’ll provide a greater bump to the company’s bottom line than in years past. Amazon raised its price for Prime earlier this year.
The holidays are a critical period for Amazon’s business. It generated a little more than a third of its $74.45 billion in sales for 2013 in the final three months of the year. A bulk of profits are also generated from October through December (last year’s fourth-quarter profit totaled $239 million, while Amazon only made $274 million for the entire year).
Other metrics were easier to compare. Nearly 60% of Amazon.com shoppers used a mobile device this season, and Amazon said mobile shopping became more popular as the season progressed. In 2013, Amazon said “more than half” of customers used a mobile device.
Fortune has combed Amazon’s latest holiday report and has broken out five interesting tidbits.