Another summer, another successful Amazon Prime Day. The past few weeks have been buzzing with anticipation and analysis of Amazon’s faux holiday, Prime Day. After five years of running their member-only sale, there’s still lots to learn from the holiday. Let’s look into how the summer holiday has evolved over the years and what lesson retailers can take away to prepare for next year.
Amazon Prime Day Results 2019
First, let’s look at how Amazon performed this year. To little surprise, Amazon once again surpassed the previous year’s numbers, in part because the sale ran for a full 12 hours longer than last year. Nonetheless, the latest numbers show that Amazon was able to:
- Conduct their biggest sales event ever, surpassing previous Prime Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday
- Estimated sales hit $7.6 billion globally over 48-hour period – up 71% in 2018
- Sold more than 175 million products compared to 100 million in 2018
- Sales of products from marketplaces sellers cross $2 billion, which still only account for about a third of Prime Day sales
- The second day of the sale, Tuesday, accounted for 65% of the lift. 33% of the lift was due to increase in visits and 12% due to bigger basket sizes.
- 10 million more Prime members this year than last year able to shop
What were the top performing products of Prime Day? U.S Prime members purchased:
Products among the big sellers for Amazon were the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter, Instant Pot DUO60 and 23andMe Health + Ancestry kits.
How Amazon Prime Day 2019 Looked Different than Previous Years
While an overall success sales day, Prime Day 2019 looked a little different than previous years. An obvious difference was that the sales event lasted a full 48 hours, 12 hours longer than last year. Throughout the sale, there were still some complaints of site glitches like the inability to add items to carts.
Another noticeable difference this year was the push in promotion of Amazon’s own devices such as the Echo Dot and its Fire TV Stick models. Further, Internet Retailer estimates marketplace sellers’ sales only accounted for about a third of Prime Day sales. This differs from Amazon’s annual gross merchandise sales, which marketplace sellers account for 58% in 2018. These numbers suggest that Amazon focused more this year on their own products or those sourced through a direct relationship, instead of introducing new brands. The strategy seemed to have paid off as customers lunged for the historically low prices on popular Amazon items.
Retail Rivals Respond to Amazon Prime Day
More importantly though, Amazon wasn’t the only ones to report record sales after Prime Day. This year we saw multiple retailers also report increase in sales over the two days. According to Adobe Analytics, retail rivals to Amazon with annual sales of $1 billion or more posted a 64% increase in sales. This includes retailers like Best Buy, Costco, Etsy, Gap, Home Depot, IKEA, Kohl’s, Nike, Target, Sam’s Club, Walmart, and Wayfair. However, department stores like Macy’s and Sears, did not fare so favorably. These brands posted significant declines in online transactions after Prime Day.
And, small retailers under $5 million were even able to cash in on the big event. According to Adobe, they saw a 30% lift in sales during the event, unlike last year’s reported decrease in revenue.
So, what does this mean that other retailers are also cashing in on Prime Day?
It speaks that online shoppers are still ready to engage in comparison shopping during Prime Day. While Amazon instigated the faux holiday, shoppers aren’t intent on only buying from Amazon. Instead, they’ll spend their money on the best deals. Prime Day is just the driving force behind consumers flocking to see what’s selling online.
How Retailers Divert Amazon Prime Traffic to Their Sites
Reports suggested that the most successful retail rivals used email marketing and Buy Online, Pick Up In Store (BOPIS) services to drive traffic and conversions on their sites over Amazon.
TotalRetail reports that brands that delivered excellent email experiences saw a 52% lift in revenue over the course of two days. To compare, those without a focused email strategy only saw a 23% lift. A strong email marketing strategy is key to creating an awareness among your deals and grabbing the attention of shoppers who are already looking for a deal.
Physical retailers were also able to snag online shoppers by offering BOPIS services. This attractive shipping option was able to lure more shoppers to complete their purchase during the two-day event. BOPIS average order values increased by 12% from $115 to $131.
Retailers should be encouraged that Amazon Prime Day is turning into an online selling event that they all can benefit from. While Prime Day creates the anticipation among shoppers, other retailers can win over customers looking for great deals and convenient shopping.
What to Expect from Amazon Prime Day 2020
With the two-day shopping event just behind us, we’re already considering how to prepare for next year. We wouldn’t be surprised to see Amazon to continue to lengthen and promote their own products next year. We’d also be interested to see how Amazon effectively rolls out even faster delivery options, like same-day or possibly 1-hour delivery times to sweeten the deals. As recently reported, Amazon continues to spend most of their budget on rolling out delivery improvements across the board.
However, we’ll see if or how Amazon warehouse workers push back on working conditions, especially during these historic sales over short time periods. Even this year, Amazon saw some workers walking off the job during the event to protest wages and working conditions. While the numbers overall weren’t significant, we’ll see how workers respond in the future as Amazon continues to push the boundaries on speedier delivery times, which are held up on the shoulders of their employees.
For Amazon’s rivals, we expect to see them continue to make most of the opportunity to divert ready-to-buy online traffic to their own sites through personalized promotions and product recommendations. We’d also like to see retailers turn this traffic into repeat buyers, just like Amazon uses Prime Day to drive increases in their memberships.