Amazon will raise the price of its Prime monthly subscription service by 12.5% - or £1 – to £8.99 from September in the latest sign that delivery costs are rising.
The company said the cost of an annual Prime plan, which includes unlimited deliveries for online shopping, access to its video and music streaming services and Amazon Fresh grocery deliveries, would increase by more – 20 %, or £16 – to £95, although this is still a discount on the monthly option.
Amazon said the fee increase, which will be implemented as member contracts renew from September 15, was the first since 2014 and followed a series of improvements to its Prime service. .
“We’ve increased the number of products available with unlimited fast Prime delivery, recently added super-fast fresh grocery delivery, and significantly expanded our high-quality digital entertainment, including TV, movies, music , games and books,” a spokesperson said. said.
They added that Prime Video had tripled the amount of original content from Amazon since 2018, with series like The Boys and The Terminal List and UK-produced shows such as Clarkson’s Farm and Backstage With Katherine Ryan. The service has also added access to Premier League football and Autumn Nations rugby in the UK and will launch The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. series in september.
Half of all UK consumers over the age of 16 – around 27 million people – are thought to have access to Prime as the service grew rapidly during the pandemic when high street retailers were forced to close for long periods.
More than a third of over-16s in the UK, or around 19 million people, are estimated to be individual members, up from 31 per cent or 15 million in 2019, according to market research firm Mintel. Prime membership peaks among younger consumers, with nearly two-thirds (64%) of 16-34 year olds now having access to the service.
Prime delivery is the most used service, but the video streaming service has seen the fastest growth during the pandemic, with 62% of members using it regularly in 2020, according to Mintel. In contrast, only 7% used the Amazon Fresh grocery delivery service.
The price hike comes as online retailers and streaming services look for ways to offset inflation in delivery costs and growing difficulties in processing returned goods.
In March, Netflix announced it was increasing the cost of its basic and standard plans by £1 per month to £6.99 and £10.99 respectively, while the premium tier would increase by £2 to £15.99 . Apple Music is also increasing the cost of its student plan by £1 to £5.99, while the cost of Disney+ has increased by £2 per month to £7.99.
The price hikes come despite evidence of declining interest in streaming services as households look for ways to cut costs and find alternative entertainment now that pandemic restrictions have ended.
Fast fashion group Boohoo, which owns online brands including Debenhams, Dorothy Perkins, Oasis, Wallis and Burton, became the latest online retailer to start charging shoppers returns earlier this month with a fee from £1.99.
Zara, Sports Direct and Next now also charge for the return of goods purchased online, as the costs of cleaning, checking and repackaging items, as well as delivery costs, have soared.