Survey: 65 Percent of Shoppers Won’t Pay More for Amazon Prime

If Amazon substantially raises the cost of Amazon Prime, could there be a customer revolt like that experienced by Netflix?

This post comes from Louis Ramirez at partner site DealNews.

Just days after Amazon broke the news that it may raise the cost of its popular Prime shipping service by $20 or as much as $40, consumers have taken to the Internet to voice their opinion. In a DealNews survey, 65 percent of readers polled said they would not pay more for Amazon’s two-day shipping service.

While many found it hard to justify a higher price, others claimed a lack of new content on Amazon Instant Video, coupled with the price hike, as reason enough to quit.

A Netflix scenario in the making

The last company to create such a commotion over a price hike was Netflix back in September of 2011 when it said it would split its digital and DVD-only services into two companies. Thanks to social media (and a lot of subscription cancellations), Netflix quickly retracted its plans.

It’s still uncertain whether Amazon will indeed raise the cost of Prime, but one thing is for sure — it hasn’t won over public support. As one of our readers pointed out, “Some people, slapped with a 25 percent to 50 percent increase, can become offended. Why risk the same type of revolt that Netflix had?”

Pile this on top of last year’s flurry of missed shipments and Prime delays, and some consumers might start wondering if they need the service at all.

Tiered pricing a possible solution?

While the overwhelming majority of readers said they would cancel their Prime membership should a price hike occur, a few readers contemplated keeping their subscription if Amazon were to separate its on-demand video service from Prime. With tiered pricing, consumers who want both on-demand video and Prime shipping would pay the higher rate, while those who want just two-day shipping could potentially stay with their current rate.

Other readers said they wouldn’t mind an increase as long as the total price remains at or under $100 per year, or if it would grant them further value like same-day delivery on select items or a richer library of streaming content.

Though we’re still years away from Prime Air, Amazon’s drone shipping service that promises deliveries within minutes after purchase, the e-tailer does offer same-day delivery on certain products in select cities, which could sweeten the Prime price tag.

As it currently stands, though, the majority of shoppers are unwilling to subscribe to Prime if it costs more than $79, and only a meager 12 percent said they would indeed pay more if necessary. (An indecisive 22 percent just said “maybe.”) Thus, Amazon will have to tread lightly as it considers what to do about Prime pricing.

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  • BigDog40

    Prime doesn’t cost, it pays to join. Order 20 items in a year estimate $6.95 as the delivery charge and bingo, you’re a winner.

  • Tom

    As a prime member for several years, I think it is a deal. If it goes up $5-10/year it is still a deal for me and I’d likely stay. More than that I’m on a sliding scale of “maybe” to “goodbye.”

    • Selena Barton

      Sadly though, they are talking $20 – $40, not $5 – $10.

      • Tom

        I know, but I sense they are floating the extremes and there may be other tweaks (different levels of prime or grandfathering current members) rather than price that they do. If I’m betting, I bet they go up to $99 and folks will say “whew, glad they didn’t go over $100.”

  • ModernMode

    A lot of items ship free anyway and the streaming service does not offer enough content to justify the cost.

  • Coolgm

    I love the free shipping and it’s worth the $79. But if it goes up I would cancel and probably no longer do business with Amazon. I would definitely pay the increase if they would improve their video library. Because right now the selection is awful.

  • Michael Smiley Gawthrop

    I don’t understand the allure of prime. I already have Netflix which has a much larger video library and much easier to navigate (I tried prime and I hated the interface for streaming to my TV, there was no way to log on my computer, queue it up and have it waiting on my blu ray player like I can on Netflix, and trying to do a search while typing out a title by using the arrow buttons on my remote is not how I want to waste my pre-movie time). And as long as there still is the super saver shipping, I don’t see the benefit of the two day shipping being a big benefit either… I mean, most stuff falls into two categories, something I need right now and will go to a brick and mortar store to get or something that I can wait for and will buy online to save money, in which case it doesn’t matter if it take 2 days or 2 weeks, it wasn’t something I needed immediately anyway (and besides, living only 30 miles from one distribution center and 200 miles from another, I have never had to wait more than 4 days for the free shipping).

  • Mara Cain

    I’ll drop it. They raised the minimum purchase price to get free shipping already and I can go directly to a site and spend that amount of money anyway. Toys R Us and other stores were great during the holidays and that is when I shop. I hardly use amazon anymore though I do have Prime. I prefer Netflix for movies.

  • ponce

    I suspect the real reason Amazon is raising the price is that they want to discontinue Prime. In case you haven’t noticed, the cost of shipping has nearly doubled since this was introduced over 8 years ago. Its a money loser for them.

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