This implies that growth in Prime membership will underpin Amazon’s expansion into clothing and footwear. However, Prime membership levels are already high in the US, suggesting that they could plateau in the coming years. Some 43% of those surveyed said that they already have a personal Prime membership and a further 21% said that they have access to Prime benefits through someone else in their household. So, Amazon may need to focus on driving up purchase frequency and average spend in order to support its market share gains.
The company launched amazon.com Auctions, a web auctions service, in March 1999. However, it failed to chip away at the large market share of the industry pioneer, eBay. Later, the company launched a fixed-price marketplace business, zShops, in September 1999, and the now defunct partnership with Sotheby's, called Sothebys.amazon.com, in November. Auctions and zShops evolved into Amazon Marketplace, a service launched in November 2000 that let customers sell used books, CDs, DVDs, and other products alongside new items. As of October 2014, Amazon Marketplace is the largest of its kind, followed by similar marketplaces from Sears, Rakuten and Newegg.