I confess that well-deserved pity for Hachette authors has not led me to boycott Amazon. (Hachette can take care of itself.) As a book lover, Amazon has done more to improve my quality of life than any traditional publisher. Kindle, wish lists, free shipping for the patient, excellent search capabilities, a sound recommendation engine, and many other little conveniences have made me a better book buyer. And I hope the authors are grateful for that.
I tried Prime for one year and came to the conclusion that it led me to buy books too impulsively. I prefer to space out my purchases and bundle them into a free shipment every other month. If I need to read something immediately, I can get it on Kindle. However, Prime is definitely the loyalty program that Amazon is banking on.
Bloomberg View: Amazon Sets Fire to Its Money-Losing Business Plan, 2014-Jun-19 by Ben Thompson
Call it the whale strategy. In this view, Amazon sees the Fire Phone as a means of earning a disproportionate amount of profit from the sorts of loyal customers who were featured in the video that opened yesterday's keynote. In this view, instead of the Fire Phone being a means of driving e-commerce, e-commerce is in fact a means of capturing customers and building loyalty; Prime deepens the connections, and the profitability; and at the final stage, the Fire Phone makes more profit in a single purchase than anything that came before, even as it drives an even-deeper connection with the customer.