How Amazon is trying to make Prime useful for everyone

Amazon said Thursday that its latest numbers show consumers are continuing to sign up for Prime, despite a $20 fee increase that went into effect last week. “It’s early, but we’re encouraged by what we see so far,” Amazon Chief Financial Officer Tom Szkutak said on a conference call after the company posted its first-quarter earnings. The company met Wall Street’s expectations on earnings per share and did slightly better than expected in sales.

Over the past nine years, people have come to love Amazon Prime as the cheap way to get almost anything from Amazon — and fast. But over the past two weeks, we’ve seen that Amazon has much bigger plans for the service. As the benefits expand, Amazon is clearly hoping consumers will find more reasons to pay $99 for the annual program, after the recent $20 increase in the price of the annual subscription. But it won’t be easy to change consumer behavior. Those who have grown used to the Amazon Prime of old may resist these changes, worrying that they are paying more for things they don’t really want or use. Some have already begun to ask if the current program is still worth it as prices go higher.

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