Amazon Prime grew 35 percent in 2015, reaching 54 million U.S. members according to data from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.
These members aren't only taking advantage of free shipping however; they are also spending more than average customers. In fact, the data shows that Prime members spend an average of $1,100 per year compared to non-members' average of $600 per year.
Although it is difficult for most retailers to compete with Amazon's Prime offering (due to lower order volume and the high-cost of shipping), that hasn't stopped some from trying. In fact, there are a variety of retailers that offer shipping programs similar to Amazon Prime in an effort to foster customer loyalty and increase profit margins.
For some inspiration for your own business, check out the list of five retailers competing with Amazon Prime below:
Sephora's Flash program gives customers free two-day shipping for just $10 a year. There is no minimum purchase required with the program, and customers even have the option to overnight their purchases for a fee of just $5.95. It is also important that Flash shipping is a free perk for the company's VIB Rouge members, which are customers that are part of the retailer's Beauty Insider loyalty program and have spent at least $1,000 over a calendar year.
Online computer electronics retailer Newegg offers a shipping program called Premier, which comes with a variety of pricing options, including $19.99 for three months, $29.99 for six months and $49.99 for 12 months. The program offers free three-day-or-sooner shipping, free returns and enables users to add up to four friends to their account who can also take advantage of the perks. Other benefits of the program include waived restocking fees, rush processing, a private customer service line, exclusive deals, special alerts and more.
Target's shipping offering is a little different from the aforementioned options, as it is not a service users can purchase. Rather, customers that have a Target REDcard (which is a Target brand debit or credit card) automatically have free shipping on all orders. What's more, Target REDcard members get five percent off of their orders as well as 30 extra days for returns.
Makeup addicts can get their Urban Decay haul shipped for free by signing up for the retailer's Beauty Junkies loyalty program. Unlike Sephora's Flash program, joining Beauty Junkies is free for customers. Those who are interested simply sign up for the program by giving the retailer some personal information (such as address and birth date). They then receive free shipping on every order with no minimum purchase. What's more, members earn points with purchases that can be redeemed later for special rewards. Beauty Junkies also receive special offers, promotions and gifts, as well as get early access to new product launches. Lastly, members of the program are able to level up based on the points they earn, with each level coming with additional benefits. The top "Rockstar" level, for example, offers free expedited shipping on orders.
Customers can join Columbia's Greater Rewards program for free, which enables them to earn points and rewards as well as obtain free standard ground shipping. Members are required to give the retailer some personal information to sign up for the program, such as their location, gender and birth date. After sign up, members have access to the program's perks, which include free shipping, 10 points for every $1 that is spent and member-only discounts. What's more, members can earn points without having to spend money, as the company offers points for social activity, such as following Columbia on Twitter and sharing branded posts on Instagram.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of Internet retailers offering free shipping programs. Has your company experimented with a Prime-like shipping solution? Let us know in the Comment section below.