Difference Between Amazon and Amazon Prime

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: September 21, 2022


Difference Between Amazon and Amazon Prime Difference Between Amazon and Amazon Prime

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Disaster striking on the home front could mean a lot of different things. Your brand-new pair of socks have been chewed to bits by your fat Labrador or your father mistook your latest pack of granola bars for dog treats and fed it to your furry pets or the presentation you have been working on for weeks just won’t get delivered because your pet slobbered all over your keyboard… Or worse, you wake up to the wet licks of your pup and the whole world is on a lockdown – that is a disaster we have all been through (not necessarily with the pup).

Yes, disaster has different definitions for different people and it can range from an empty peanut butter jar to a car crash. But today, disasters at home can be managed. Mostly. Those pretty pairs of socks, protein bars and your laptop can be replaced if not salvaged. And it is all thanks to online shopping. With a click of a button, anyone from anywhere can access a plethora of online websites depending on the products they require and have them delivered to their doorstep. These websites are crafted as such so that our needs can be met with the utmost urgency. This quality is what makes them so desirable. With the global pandemic of COVID striking our world, e-commerce has seen a massive surge. Online shopping and digital marketing have now become almost a part of the routine be it shopping for clothes, gadgets or daily groceries. These changes are likely to stay since people love the comfort and the ease of home delivery provides just that.

Amazon was one of the first e-commerce platforms created in the mid-90s and is currently, the largest online retailer in the world. Amongst its extensive assortment of services, there are – amazon prime, amazon video, amazon business etc. Often their individual uses and functions can get confusing but Amazon, itself is very different from its service, Amazon Prime.

Differences Between Amazon and Amazon Prime in a Tabular Form

Table: Amazon vs. Amazon Prime
Parameters of Comparison
Amazon Prime
Amazon is the parent e-commerce company and online website.
Amazon Prime is a service provided by Amazon.
Amazon was created by Jeff Bezos in 1994.
Amazon released the service Amazon Prime in 2005.
Type of Website
It is a public sector website.
It is a subscription service website.
Amazon is the parent company that owns Amazon Prime.
Amazon Prime is a service of Amazon.
Amazon has multiple subsidiaries like Zappos, Audible and Twitch.
Amazon Prime has no subsidiaries.
Amazon offers a multiple range of services to all its users.
Amazon Prime offers services only to the subscribers of the Prime feature.
The registration on Amazon is free. It does not require a subscription.
Amazon Prime offers a free trial period after which the services are charged along with a requirement for subscription.
One has to pay for the products purchased.
There is a monthly payment for the subscription of Amazon Prime services.
Shipping Charges
Shipping charges are only applied when the products are required within a shorter time period.
Amazon Prime offers free shipping for all home deliveries.
The industry of Amazon is divided into e-commerce, cloud computing and various digital distribution services amongst other ventures.
The industry of Amazon Prime expands all over the world through the internet.
As of 2021, Amazon’s revenue was 469 billion US dollars.
As of 2021, Amaon Prime’s revenue was roughly 31 billion US dollars.
The registration on Amazon is independent.
The registration on Amazon Prime is dependent on the registration on Amazon.
Movies and e-books
On Amazon, one can separately buy any number of movies and e-books.
Amazon Prime offers free movies and e-books to its subscribers.

What is Amazon?

Amazon is most often the first website that most people today access when ‘disaster’ strikes. Founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994, Amazon was primarily an online bookstore with a promise to deliver books to anyone, anywhere. But we are extremely grateful that it didn’t stop there. Amazon swiftly expanded into the areas of video, electronic gadgets, movies, music, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, self-driven vehicles etc. Presently, it is considered one of the most influential economic and cultural ventures that have shaped the e-commerce industry since its conception. Through its expansion, Amazon has also seen incredible growth in its consumer numbers, customer services and its entire shipping empire.

The main objective of Amazon according to its creator is ‘customer-centricity’. Customer needs are given priority and services are aimed to achieve satisfaction through efficiency, speed and innovation. While it started as a private company, for expansion, it invited investors and in 1997, it opened its doors to the public becoming a public company.

In 1998, it began selling other commodities like music, videos, software, video games, toys and games and much more. To improve revenue, in addition to cash, Amazon also started using stock to boost its growth. Although there was an appeal added to the products being offered by Amazon, it was the service that promoted customer loyalty. Recommendations of alternatives, customer reviews and a record of previous purchases were a few of the services that many customers found desirable.

By 2002, Amazon launched the Amazon Web Services (AWS), claiming to be a technological company rather than just a retailer. AWS gave internet solutions, internet traffic patterns and other statistics to the users. Following AWS, Amazon put forth cloud storage in 2006 that grew in popularity and is even being used by its rival streaming service – Netflix.

Amazon even created an inventory-management business through which smaller companies sell their products on Amazon. This helped the company gain more control over the production and delivery of the various products. Although they possess multiple assets and functions, Amazon still receives most of its humungous revenue from selling products online (AWS). To avail of its services, there is a free registration and no requirement of a subscription. There is no charge for standard delivery of the item purchased on Amazon but for a speedy delivery for example a product is required within 2 days, there are charges applied.

Over time, Amazon has gained many smaller companies or subsidiaries like Zappos, Audible, Souk and many more. Other products that are offered by Amazon are Kindle, Fire TV, Fire Tablet, Echo etc. and the services provided are Amazon Music, Alexa etc. Amazon Prime is such a customer service provided by Amazon.

What is Amazon Prime?

Amazon Prime is a ‘subscription service’ introduced by Amazon in 2005. It is only available to those who subscribe to it and is optional on Amazon. The registration on Amazon Prime however is dependent on Amazon i.e. only Amazon users can register on Amazon Prime. An Amazon Prime membership offers a free trial period to those who have subscribed to the service using a credit card. Following this trial period, should one wish to continue enjoying the benefits of the Prime membership, they are asked to subscribe to the service for which they will have to pay on a monthly or a yearly basis. If they decide against it, they must cancel their subscription before the end of the trial period. If they fail to cancel the subscription, the Prime membership automatically gets updated by charging the user’s card.

Amazon Prime offers its subscribers free of charge standard shipping and one-day delivery at a cost. These also come with certain conditions like the type of product and its availability. If unavailable, the product is given after a period of 2 days, post the restocking. Aside from this feature, there is also express delivery for specific locations, Sunday delivery and same-day delivery (also dependent on the person’s location) services. Amazon Prime offers its users many movies, music and e-books for free. And its services can be hailed all across the world through the internet. The subscribers can use these services with the ‘One-click’ button.

While the benefits of Amazon Prime are certain, there are exceptions as well. For example, certain items from other sellers on Amazon are ineligible for express delivery. It also does not deliver items like magazine subscriptions and personalized gift cards. The delivery option is also limited to certain locations and is unavailable in many international locations like Puerto Rico, Guam etc.

An Amazon Prime subscriber can share the benefits of Amazon Prime with 4 other members of their family or 4 other co-workers (they must share the same Amazon corporate account).

Main Differences Between Amazon and Amazon Prime In Points

Following are the main differences between Amazon and Amazon Prime:

  1. Amazon is the parent company and an online website that offers a multitude of services while Amazon Prime is one of the services provided by Amazon.
  2. Amazon was founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994. Amazon Prime was introduced as a service of Amazon in the year 2005.
  3. Amazon is a public sector website whereas Amazon Prime is a subscription service website.
  4. Amazon provides services to all its users. Amazon Prime is a service of Amazon that can be used only by its subscribers and thus, can only provide services to them.
  5. Amazon does not require a subscription and the registration is free. The registration on Amazon Prime is dependent on registration with Amazon and it also requires a subscription.
  6. Amazon requires payment only at the time of purchase of the product while Amazon requires a monthly payment for the subscription.
  7. The shipping of Amazon is chargeable when the requirement of the product is within a particular period while the shipping of Amazon Prime is free for its users.
  8. Amazon has many subsidiaries like Audible, Zappos and Twitch, to name a few. Amazon Prime has no subsidiaries.
  9. The industry of Amazon is expanded over cloud computing, artificial intelligence and much more. The industry of Amazon Prime on the other hand is expanded across the internet.
  10. Since it is the parent company and has attached ventures and projects, Amazon has a massively higher revenue when compared to Amazon Prime.


Amazon and Amazon Prime are thus what make our lives a tad easier to live. In truth, it is Amazon more than Amazon Prime. Amazon, after all, is the parent company. It is what furthered the production of Amazon Prime. To use it efficiently, all one has to do is browse the screen for all the products they require, click a button that saves it to the cart, pay for it and the next thing you know, the product is at your doorstep. It is quite like experiencing the world without having to set a foot outside. This feature was particularly useful in a tumultuous time like COVID, where adhering to restrictions and lockdowns became the norm. Be it much-needed grocery items or fancy designer chinaware; gigantic textbooks or sleek electronic tablets; disinfectants and masks or cleaning supplies and sanitisers, Amazon can give it all. The registration is also free and the only things one has to pay for are the products.

Amazon Prime, on the other hand, is a service provided by Amazon. It is available to those who subscribe to it and the subscription must be periodically paid for. Once a member though, the benefits are quite the spectacle. There is free delivery for the members, express delivery service, same-day delivery service (dependent on the location) and also Sunday delivery. All of these options can be accessed by the one-click feature that is exclusive to the members. Amazon Prime is rather more special but only goes on to emphasize the goal of Amazon, which is to ensure that the customer is satisfied. Customer-centric service is what deems Amazon so high in preference and also warrants customer loyalty. Other than that, there is also the aforementioned fact – humans like being comfortable. Therefore, be it disasters or plain needs; broken articles that need replacement as a result of your overzealous pet, or if even you require to purchase food for your pet’s nourishment or rewards for good behaviour (although we know that those serve more to pamper them), or for your other needs that do not involve pets at all, whenever disaster strikes, you know where to go. Amazon will be at your service, waiting for that click.


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"Difference Between Amazon and Amazon Prime." Diffzy.com, 2023. Sun. 29 Jan. 2023. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-amazon-and-amazon-prime-163>.

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