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Amazon Prime continues to be a significant engine for the company's growth, Business Insider reports, even as consumers are turning to the e-commerce site increasingly when searching for products.

Business Insider writes that a new estimate says that "the percentage of US households that only pay for Prime membership has more than doubled over the past four years, from 7.1% in 2013 to 16.2% in 2016."

The impact seems to be on the nations' membership club stores, with "households that only use either Costco (from 14.9% to 9.8%) and Sam's Club (from 16.9% to 9.7%)" dropping "noticeably. "

However, "households that pay for both Prime and Costco memberships jumped from 4.8% to 11.3% in the past four years, while the same trend is seen among households subscribing to both Prime and Sam's Club (from 4.8% to 8.5% in 2016)."

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports on a different study saying that "fifty-five percent of those surveyed go to Amazon first when searching for products, an increase from 44 percent a year earlier ... Search engines were the starting point for 28 percent of those surveyed, declining from 34 percent a year earlier. Specific retailers were the starting point for 16 percent, down from 21 percent."
KC's View:
I hadn't even thought about it, but upon reflection after reading this story, I've realized that my Costco shopping has gone down a lot in the last couple of years .... and I'm pretty sure the vast majority of those dollars have gone to Amazon.

And, as for product searches ... I'm not sure why anybody would start elsewhere online when looking to buy something.

These trends could slow down now that Walmart has acquired Jet, but they also could create a fairly sizable barrier to their ability to put a dent in Amazon's ecosystem.