In March 2014, Amazon announced an increase in the annual membership fee for Amazon Prime, from $79 to $99. Shortly after this change, Amazon announced Prime Music, a service in which members can get unlimited, ad-free streaming of over a million songs and access to curated playlists. In November 2014, Amazon added Prime Photos, which allows unlimited photo storage in the users' Amazon Drive (though only some raw photo files count as photos). Amazon also began offering free same-day delivery to Prime members in 14 United States metropolitan areas in May 2015.
After acquiring Whole Foods, Amazon immediately slashed the supermarket's prices on select food items. Mot recently, it announced that Prime members can enjoy exclusive savings at Whole Foods locations nationwide. In addition Prime members with an Amazon Rewards Visa Card can get 5 percent back on their Whole Foods purchases. (Non-Prime members will get 3 percent back). That's in addition to the 5 percent they already earn on Amazon.com purchases, 2 percent at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores, and 1 percent back on all other purchases. Amazon also announced free 2-hour Whole Foods deliveries via the company's Prime Now service. Deliveries are available in select cities only.
They say, don't judge a book by its cover. Good tip for this one, because the cover promises this is a book about "Why we buy" and "the science of shopping" and that it has information about online shopping as well. The reality? This is more like "Feng Shui for Retail Stores" with basically all of the book being anecdotes about shops that had inappropriate arrangements of merchandise that kept people from buying as much as they might have. The lone chapter about the internet is a joke -- it's basically just the author complaining that he doesn't understand why anyone shops online, and offering a couple of very specific suggestions for how sites like Amazon and Apple Store can improve. No help at all if you are running anything but a physical retail shopping business.
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.
Amazon has actively used Vine Voices to help introduce its private label brands. An analysis of more than 1,600 products across ten of Amazon’s private-label brands, including AmazonBasics, Amazon Essentials, Mama Bear, Pinzon, Goodthreads, and others, showed that about half had Vine reviews. Of those 835 products, more than half of the first 30 reviews were from the Vine program, according to ReviewMeta.com, an online tool that helps customers identify inauthentic reviews.
My favorite way to make sense of what's great on Amazon is by getting recommendations from friends. As a result, I decided to ask my colleagues at Business Insider about the best things they bought on Amazon from under $25 — in the hopes of finding some new things to try without wasting time or money discovering them. Hopefully, they're as helpful to you as they were to me.
Amazon has significantly increased the number of private-label brands in recent years, and currently has over 120 of them, according to a new report published by TJI Research last week. That's more than a nine-fold increase since early 2016, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey wrote in a note in June. The firm expects Amazon's private-label business to generate $7.5 billion in sales in 2018 and $25 billion by 2022.
Amazon has enhanced its competitive-pricing proposition and product ranges by hosting a large number of third-party sellers on its site. But a significant percentage of Amazon apparel shoppers—38.2%—prefers to buy directly from Amazon rather than from third-party sellers on the site. This is likely due in part to perceptions that third-party sellers offer less clarity with regard to shipping fees, returns charges and the right to return items.
Two men on the cusp of utter meme-ification craft one last masterpiece together before they let go, fizzling into the dying light. An elegy, perhaps—for America, maybe, or for the concept of law and order within an America that’s long abandoned both concepts—Werner Herzog’s predictably singular vision for a loose sequel (reboot) to Abel Ferrara’s Bad Lieutenant hangs Nicolas Cage from an imaginary hook, the actor’s baggy suit and wincing, glazy visage seemingly draped uncomfortably over every crime scene, line of coke and hallucinated iguana he comes across. New Orleans lieutenant Terence McDonagh is in a lot of pain, due mostly to a back injury he suffered saving an inmate from a flooding jail cell in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, exacerbated by all the extra drugs he consumes, plus the long horrible hours he maintains navigating the surreal wasteland of a city that’s seemingly made no progress since the natural disaster. Herzog makes no apologies about the obvious ties between McDonagh’s degradation and that of New Orleans’, concerned less with his plot’s procedural aspects (McDonagh’s trying to solve the murders of a family involved with low level drug dealing) and more with the oneiric geography of a once-thriving city lost to time. McDonagh, then, is our addled Virgil, guiding us through the Hell that made him, the Hell from which he can’t escape, the Hell he’ll never save despite his best efforts. Suffused with absurdity, and hilariously bleak as fuck, The Bad Lieutenant – Port of Call: New Orleans serves as the last of Herzog’s fiction films able to withstand the director’s hardheaded anti-narrative inclinations, as well as the last of Cage’s films in which his unhinged weirdness isn’t so obviously performative. Together, the two men offer no hope for those whom America’s abandoned. Instead they offer a moving, odd bit of comfort: At least some of us are still trying. —Dom Sinacola
Lean on Pete flows with such gentle beauty that it may be hard to grasp precisely what it’s about or where it’s going. But the power of writer-director Andrew Haigh’s sublime drama is that it can support myriad interpretations while remaining teasingly mysterious—like its main character, it’s always just a bit out of reach, constantly enticing us to look closer. Based on Willy Vlautin’s 2010 novel, the movie is a smashing introduction to Charlie Plummer, who was the kidnapped John Paul Getty III in last year’s All the Money in the World. Here, he plays Charley Thompson, a 15-year-old living with his drinking, backslapping dad (Travis Fimmel) in Portland. Charley has a sweet face and a soft-spoken manner—when he talks, the last few words evaporate into the air, as if he’s too shy to even be bold enough to enunciate—but early on, we get a sense that there’s a craftiness underneath that demeanor. The first indication is his willingness to lie about his age to Del (Steve Buscemi), a craggy horse owner who reluctantly takes him on as a caretaker for his elderly racehorse Lean on Pete. Charley doesn’t know a thing about horses, but he’s anxious to find something to do now that he’s in a new town with his father, their reasons for leaving Spokane unspecified but clearly dispiriting. Familiar narrative tropes emerge in Lean on Pete: the boy-and-his-dog drama, the coming-of-age story, the father-and-son character piece, the road movie. Haigh breezes past them all, seeking something more elliptical in this deceptively slim story. With the patience and minimalist command of a Kelly Reichardt, he doesn’t dictate where his film goes, seemingly letting Charley’s restlessness call the shots. The boy’s journey gathers force and poignancy as it moves forward, and the more we understand about Charley the more unknowable he becomes. Along the way, we meet other people and see other worlds—the life of young military veterans, the reality of homelessness, the grind of the low-rent racing circuit—but Haigh views it all with the same unassuming compassion we see in Charley’s quiet eyes. —Tim Grierson
Amazon Drive, formerly known as Cloud Drive, is a cloud storage application offering secure cloud storage, file synchronization, file sharing, and Photo printing. Using an Amazon account, the files and folders can be transferred and managed from multiple devices including web browsers, desktop applications, mobiles, and tablets. Amazon Drive also lets their U.S. users order photo prints and photo books using Amazon Prints service.
It’s not difficult to imagine a different cut of Anna Rose Holmer’s The Fits that hews closer to the arc of a traditional sports story. Hers has the makings of a familiar one, of a misfit who wants more than anything to compete—but unlike most stories of inspirational audacity, The Fits is as much about discomfort as the catharsis that comes with achievement. In it, Toni (Royalty Hightower) is an 11-year-old who has more experience with stereotypically male pursuits like lifting weights and punching speed bags than the usual interests of a pre-teen girl. She spends nearly all of her time at the Lincoln Recreation Center alongside her boxer brother, Jermaine (Da’Sean Minor), pushing her body to the limit. While she shows a remarkable aptitude for the ascetical devotion required for boxing, she still dreams about competing on the dance team, “The Lincoln Lionesses.” Framed with a rigid sense of space by cinematographer Paul Yee, and backed by the groaning score from veteran composers Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans, The Fits is infused with such dread that one can’t help but imagine that characters’ muscles and bones could break or shatter at any moment. The film’s most explicit example of which may be Toni pulling off a temporary tattoo, but The Fits is firmly a story of metaphysical body horror, an allegory about our greatest fears of physical fragility shot brilliantly through a feminist lens. With that, the film manages to reinvent the sports story as something both brainy and physically pure. —Michael Snydel
Our survey found that membership declines from the April 2018 peak spanned the income scale, although the greatest declines were among consumers in the $35,000–$74,999 income range. This is a demographic that has a near-average Prime penetration rate, meaning that the group does not exhibit the growth potential of lower-income households, which account for a smaller proportion of Prime members. But those in the $35,000–$74,999 income segment also do not have the financial security of those in higher-income households, which account for much higher-than-average subscription rates. So, these data may imply that those in the “squeezed middle” are canceling their Prime memberships at higher rates than those in other income groups, despite an apparently benign economic context.
Promising review: "We use Tile to help locate our cat. She was a rescue from the local shelter and she insists on going outside; my wife, however, insists that the cat must come in at night. This meant there were some nice summer nights where we were up until very late looking for our cat. Since putting the Tile on her collar we have had great success with finding her or just knowing when she is home. It has also helped us determine where she likes to hang out, thus greatly shortening our search times. It would be nice if the signal had more range, but considering it uses Bluetooth, it isn't horrible. I would rate the range at a maximum of half the average city block. It can also be as little as a few feet if your pet is under something like a parked car." —Kenystlded
In a voice test of various categories using the Amazon Echo devices last year, researchers at Bain & Co., found in categories in which Amazon offered a private-label product, Alexa recommended those products 17 percent of the time. Noting that the private label goods represent only about 2 percent of total volume sold, the Bain researchers said, “the online retailer clearly positions its own private labels favorably in voice shopping.”
Bloomberg reported yesterday that Amazon is using its own ‘Vine’ reviewer program to dramatically increase the number of product reviews for some private-label products. Bloomberg’s analysis found that the Amazon Basics motor oil product has almost as many product reviews three months after launch as a close competitor, a Valvoline motor oil product. Eighty percent of Amazon’s product reviews are from the “Vine Reviewer” program, an Amazon program where brands pay for selected users to review their products, compared with zero Vine reviews for the competing Valvoline product.
Amazon's new Prime Reading feature differs from the Lending Library in a few key ways. First, it's not limited to Kindles: You can access the catalog of free e-books on phones, tablets and anything else capable of running a Kindle app. Second, the selection includes not only books, but also a rotating selection of magazines, comics, travel guides, Kindle Singles and more.