Amazon Prime is, by most accounts, a great deal. The free two-day shipping alone is worth the yearly cost, but Amazon throws in its Instant Video service, unlimited music streaming and photo storage, free ebooks, and early access to sales. Now, Amazon is adding another benefit to Prime: exclusive products you can only purchase if you’re a member. The service is called Amazon Elements, and is only available to Prime members. At the start, Amazon will be selling baby products, but the true selling point is transparency. Each product will come with a QR code that, when scanned with the Amazon app, will display information about its origin, including where and when it was made, where every ingredient originates, and why those ingredients were used to make the product.
Amazon started wading into selling its own electronics with its line of Amazon Basics cables and adapters, but now it’s branching out. Amazon Elements is a new line of Amazon-branded “everyday essentials” available exclusively to Prime subscribers, and it’s starting with diapers and baby wipes. Amazon’s selling point for the new line of products isn’t price—Amazon qualifies these new products as “premium”—but rather the items’ “transparent origins.” From the press release: “Each Amazon Elements product page has an unprecedented level of information ranging from where items were sourced, to facts about why each ingredient was used to make the product. Plus, each Amazon Elements package has a unique code that can be scanned using the Amazon mobile shopping app to track its specific ingredients and their origins, its date and place of manufacture, date of delivery, ‘best by’ date and more.” Diapers (but no overnights, for shame) and baby wipes are the only things available right now, but it’s obvious Amazon will expand, probably to additional childcare supplies—parents are busy!—and then into other I-need-it-and-don’t-care-about-the-brand goods like toilet paper, paper towels, and other bathroom and kitchen supplies. How far it will go is anyone’s guess, but there are already tons of people using Amazon to ship toilet paper and tissues and toothpaste to their houses on a regular basis, and if Amazon Essentials can somehow make it easier—and get new parents into the habit while they’re sleepless and desperate for a shipment of diapers—there’s definitely room for the program to grow. If you have Prime anyway.