Walmart and eBay prove that e-commerce membership is the most important new retail trend

By most measures, Amazon’s membership program, called Amazon Prime, has been a runaway success for the e-commerce giant.

The Prime model — of asking customers to pay an upfront fee in exchange for free two-day shipping and other benefits — has helped Amazon pull shoppers away from competing retailers and establish loyal online customers. But now Amazon’s competitors are fighting back.

In a new report from BI Intelligence, we track the e-commerce membership program trend and look at how e-commerce retailers are taking the Costco model and updating it for the online shopping age. We also assess the advantages and disadvantages of e-commerce membership programs for the retailer, as well as what consumers might look for in these programs and what incentives are needed to get people to sign up. And we provide an outlook for other retailers and product categories that could benefit from employing the membership model.

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Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

In full, the report:

To access the full report from BI Intelligence, sign up for a 14-day trial here. Members also gain access to new in-depth reports, hundreds of charts and datasets, as well as daily newsletters on the digital industry.

Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.

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