Amazon shipped more than 5 billion Prime items in 2017

One of the 5 billion.
One of the 5 billion.
Image: AP Photo/Mark Lennihan
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Amazon’s quest for world domination continued in 2017, and today (Jan. 2) it gave us a peek at how ubiquitous it already is.

The company said in a press release that it shipped over 5 billion items from its Prime membership service to subscribers in 2017. It added that there are roughly 100 million items eligible for expedited free shipping through Prime, and research suggests Amazon has around 90 million Prime members. (The company has never disclosed how many members it has or what the service’s retention rate is, though it’s estimated to be ridiculously high.)

Amazon also said its most-purchased items over the year were its own Fire Stick streaming device, its Echo Dot smart speaker, AmazonBasics cables, and, oddly, bananas. (Americans really, really love bananas and Amazon has a bit of a thing for them.)

The release rattled off all sorts of other impressive stats, including Amazon’s fastest delivery (8 minutes through its Prime Now delivery service); that it delivered instant pots (the internet’s favorite cooking appliance) to nearly two-thirds of all US zip codes; and 17 million people tuned in to Amazon Prime Video to watch the 10 NFL games it had rights to on Thursday nights. It also mentioned that its most popular clothing lines are its own brands, and that 5 million games had been bought with a Prime discount through its videogame-streaming service, Twitch.

Amazon said more paid members joined its Prime service than any other year in 2017, and today’s announcement feels like a list of reasons to join the ever-growing cult of Prime for anyone who has yet to drink the Kool-Aid. After buying Whole Foods, attempting to disrupt the entire shipping industry, and potentially destroying malls, we’re not far away from a time when the easiest way to buy anything, anywhere, will be through a website, kiosk, store, or app bearing a golden smile.