Business Insider reports that Amazon is considering internal proposals that would integrate its One Medical healthcare services into Prime membership, offering discounted prices that would simultaneously add value to Prime while expanding the One Medical customer base. Also consideration is creating a new subscription track for One Medical.
According to the story, "Internally, the new subscriptions are a hotly debated topic … Adding new healthcare or grocery benefits to the existing Prime program would likely raise the membership fee, making it too expensive for some users. But launching too many standalone subscription programs could potentially dilute the Prime brand, which has seen growth slow recently.
"Amazon is struggling to attract younger customers and low income households to use its Prime membership program, one of the people said. Most upper income households in the US are already Prime members."
Some context from Business Insider:
"Amazon Prime, which raised its price to $139 a year in the US last year, offers a number of benefits, including free shipping and access to video streaming content. Amazon's health arm consists of an online prescription service and on-demand virtual care, among other services. Amazon acquired One Medical for $3.9 billion in 2022, and Whole Foods for $13.7 billion in 2017.
"The moves could accelerate Prime's growth. The subscription program has more than 200 million members worldwide and is a key part of the company's business because Prime members tend to buy more frequently and spend more on Amazon's e-commerce site."
- KC's View:
I'm a dedicated Prime member, and frequent Subscribe & Save user, so I think I can be described as an Amazon stakeholder. I'd suggest that if Amazon wants to add a healthcare component to Prime membership, it is a good idea - but not if it means raising annual membership fees. Those of us lucky enough to have healthcare simply don't need One Medical, and won't want to pay for access to something that is useless.
I think there can be tiers of membership, with different fee structures. Amazon's goal can and should be to get people to buy into as many of these tiers as possible, but as a customer-first organization, it ought to give us opt-out options.