Amazon was keen to push consumers toward Echo and Alexa in the buildup to Prime Day - besides Alexa-only exclusive deals, for the first time ever Amazon allowed users to sign up for a Prime subscription by asking Alexa.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Business Insider's Insider Picks team. Around the same time a year ago, analysts estimated that Amazon had almost 60 million members. Since then, mid-July has become a sort of "Black Friday of the summer" with other big box retailers offering their own competitive deals during the same time frame as Prime Day. In February 2005, Prime was launched as "an all-you-can-eat express shipping membership program for about a million products", according to the company. And after one year, 91 percent of members renew for a second. Prime costs about $100 per year. Subscribers who want to make monthly payments pay $10.99 a month.
Amazon also reduced its entry price for its Music Unlimited service to 99 cents for four months, posing stronger competition for Apple Music.
Going into this week's Amazon Prime Day, the company's Echo family of gadgets was already forecast to control 70 percent of the voice-controlled-speaker market for the year.
A whole boatload of new deals can now be found on Amazon's Prime Day page, including thousands of new lightning deals that are only available for a limited time or while supplies last. This has not stopped analysts and journalists from speculating. They have kept the registration window open for the customers who are not now the Prime customers which would benefit them to increase their sales numbers.
Cowen analysts estimated there were 53 million Prime member households in the U.S.at the end of the second quarter, or 48% of USA households. In February, Cowen & Co. analyst John Blackledge also estimated that there are 80 million members.
Javier Diez-Aguirre, Vice President, Corporate Marketing, CSR & Environment at Ricoh Europe, said: "With a third place ranking in our research, Amazon has clearly established a great reputation for customer service".