Experts’ Analysis: Amazon Prime Day Wrap Up
Amazon Prime Day, the company’s longest one yet, has come to an end. The e-commerce maven says this year’s Prime Day was the “largest shopping event in Amazon history.”
During the sale on July 15 and 16 sales surpassed the previous Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined and Prime members purchased more than 175 million items throughout the event, Amazon reports. Members in 18 countries shopped, double the number since the first Prime Day five years ago.
What Amazon Members Bought
- Customers made their homes smarter by purchasing millions of smart home devices. Top-selling deals included iRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum, MyQ Smart Garage Door Opener Chamberlain MYQ-G0301, and Amazon Smart Plug.
- Customers purchased 2x as many Ring and Blink devices this Prime Day as last year, when comparing two-day periods.
- Prime Day was the biggest event ever on Amazon for Alexa devices with screens, such as Echo Show and Echo Show 5.
- This was the best Prime Day ever for Fire tablets, with Fire 7 tablet as the top-seller. This was also the best Prime Day ever for Kindle devices.
- Customers purchased hundreds of thousands of Amazon kids’ devices this Prime Day, such as Echo Dot Kids Edition, Fire 7 Kids Edition tablet, and Fire HD 8 Kids Edition tablet.
- Customers purchased 2x as many Fire TV Edition Smart TVs as last year’s record-setting Prime Day, when comparing two-day periods.
- This Prime Day was the biggest sales event ever for eero on Amazon—customers purchased 6x as many devices as any previous sales event for eero.
U.S. Highlights from Prime Day 2019
- Prime members purchased more than 100,000 lunchboxes, 100,000 laptops, 200,000 TVs, 300,000 headphones, 350,000 luxury beauty products, 400,000 pet products, 650,000 household cleaning supplies, and more than one million toys.
- Prime members purchased more than 200,000 LifeStraw Personal Water Filters and 150,000 Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips Kits.
- This year, Prime members in the U.S. received savings when they shopped at Whole Foods Market. The best-selling Prime Day deals were organic strawberries, red cherries, and blueberries.
“Members purchased millions of Alexa-enabled devices, received tens of millions of dollars in savings by shopping from Whole Foods Market and bought more than $2 billion of products from independent small and medium-sized businesses,” said CEO Jeff Bezos.
Amazon also noted that the holiday was a record-breaking success for independent third-party sellers—mostly small and medium-sized businesses. Globally, these businesses far exceeded $2 billion in sales this Prime Day, making it the biggest Amazon shopping event ever for third-party sellers when comparing two-day periods.
Amazon.com's website traffic increased over 100% in the first 24 hours of Prime Day vs. the average traffic over the past five days, and the sale period of 48 hours is up 33% over 36 hours in 2018, according to Google Trends data.
Meanwhile, a breadth of competing retailers launched their own sales, including Target and eBay, hoping to steal some of Amazon’s thunder. It worked. On Monday, the first day of Amazon’s 48-hour sales event, large retailers, those that generated annual revenue of at least a billion dollars, enjoyed a 64% increase in online sales compared with an average Monday, according to Adobe Analytics. That compares to last year’s 54%. In addition, smaller retailers, with less than $5 million in annual revenue, had a 30% increase in online sales.
For the retail industry, from the Amazon purchases to the retailers that launched their own deals, Amazon Prime Day still seems to be a summertime success. As retailers turn their sights now to back to school, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, here are takeaways to keep in mind from industry experts.
"Amazon Prime changed the game. Being a member of Amazon Prime is like belonging to a club. And who doesn't want to join a club? You get in, and you get these perks, these deals...You've got Taylor Swift doing a live concert. And you can only watch by being a Prime member during Prime Week. That FOMO we keep talking about – that Fear Of Missing Out – it's real."
Henry C. Boyd III, clinical professor of marketing at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business.
"This Prime Day, we hit a mobile order share milestone. Specifically, 49% of orders and 65% of visits happened on mobile devices across the two-day Prime period. These numbers represent an impressive 20% YoY growth rate for mobile order share on Prime Day...The takeaway: On the most critical, highest revenue-producing shopping days of the year, more shoppers are browsing and transacting on a small screen."
“With any big event, Prime Days test many systems and lessons were undoubtedly learned. I think many retailers that are not using AI for product recommendations will recognize the need to incorporate systems such as these prior to Black Friday. We continue to hear astounding metrics with regards to revenue uplift and conversion improvement for those retailers whose systems support AI driven product recommendations. For store retailers, we suspect the two day shopping experience highlighted needed areas for improvement in inventory visibility. BOPIS is great as a concept until you have issues with reliably understanding where product is located. Even with Amazon, on a personal note, they continue to have opportunities with their supply chain, which will become increasingly apparent as they move from two to one-day delivery. I purchased a total of five items on Prime Day, four were promised in two days, and one will take three days to arrive, though it was advertised as a Prime item. For both online and traditional retailers, opportunity abounds!”
“This year’s Prime Day was an overall success – for the millions of deal-hunting consumers and multiple retailers that launched their own sales in tandem with Amazon. But the online shopping holiday was by no means seamless – Amazon inevitably faced technical difficulties when consumers received a failed to add to cart error message when shopping…Once retailers understand exactly what frustrates customers the most, they can get ahead of any issues that could arise for shopping holidays like this when shopper stress levels are naturally higher.”
- Mario Ciabarra, CEO of Quantum Metric
"It's smart of Amazon to get as many people as possible shopping on Prime Day, which is now glitzier than ever. The whole purpose of the event is to sell customers on its all-important Prime membership program. The easiest way to do that is for them to try it for themselves...Hooking them is the main goal. Prime membership is Amazon's crown jewel, and the customers are far more valuable than the typical Amazon shopper."
"If Amazon is hoping to use Prime Day as a way to sign up and retain new Prime Members, they might need to rethink their retention plan. According to search, consumers are signing up for Prime, getting their deals and then canceling membership shortly after."
-Captify in an email to Business Insider
“Consumers, look for the steepest electronic discounts on smart items, specifically watches, TVs, and home accessories. And retailers, remember: While everyone loves a deal, deeper discounts don’t always translate to more sales.”
-Taylor Schreiner, principal analyst at Adobe Digital Insights (ADI)
“Though Black Friday deals and last-minute gift shopping are still months away, Amazon’s Prime Day sets the precedent that holiday season shopping starts now…While consumers are after a good deal, personalization, inventory visibility and multiple fulfillment options can augment the experience and increase shoppers’ likelihood to make another purchase or recommend the retailer to someone else.”
- Michelle Fischer, chief customer and marketing officer at Kibo
“To get the most out of these peak shopping days, retailers need to prioritize and measure the speed of website load times. During these busy moments, they also need to protect against downtime and make sure their site doesn’t get overstretched…By employing a CDN service, sites can manage increases in speed, scalability, resilience and security, as well as take advantage of significant savings on bandwidth cost, and reduce load on their web server.”
- Lex Boost, CEO, Leaseweb USA
"For consumers, Amazon Prime Day is all about finding the best deals, but they’re not necessarily always loyal to the host of the event. In fact, last year 63% of Prime Day shoppers said they visited competing websites to compare prices. The key is to not launch promotions on Prime Day, but ahead of the anticipated event.”
-Tom Caporaso, CEO, Clarus Commerce
“It is interesting to note one area where Amazon is doubling down and is particularly difficult to compete against: its voice enabled Echo devices which it’s putting on steep discount again. Amazon seems bent on having its voice technology in every home.”
-Eli Finkelshteyn, CEO and Co-Founder, Constructor.io
"Proper analytics are pivotal to reacting smartly. Chasing after Amazon on a day like this runs the risk of crushing your margins without necessarily succeeding in preserving your price-image -- or how your pricing aligns with the brand image you are trying to project. Modern analytics can enable competitors to home in on which products they should chase Amazon with.”
-Julien Gautier, Marketing Director, ActiveViam
“The last thing that a brand wants to do when they are promoting sales is to alienate their customers with poor customer service and risk losing them to competitors.”
-Linda Crawford, CEO at Helpshift
“Retailers that take steps to make their infrastructure more resilient and continually replicate data will be able to recover quickly from any downtime…Retailers should prioritize moving critical applications such as POS systems to the cloud as part of their disaster recovery plans.”
-Caroline Seymour, VP of Product Marketing, Zerto
“Expanding the mega sale event to Amazon's stores conjures up an important idea – customers expect sales prices to be consistent across the entire ecosystem, both online and in-store. The reality is that omni-pricing is only truly possible with Electronic Shelf Labels. The future of discounting depends on this ability to connect physical and digital initiatives with accurate pricing.”
– Paul Milner, Marketing Director at Displaydata
“Amazon Prime Days are becoming the next big retail holiday and a good reminder to prepare for peak traffic as we approach the traditional back-to-school and holiday shopping season. To minimize the risk of business downtime, retailers need to transform their wide-area networks…Over 75% of the world’s top retail brands are already using LTE to provide non-stop connectivity to mission-critical applications and the cloud, to isolate and securely connect ‘store-within-a-store’ deployments, and to provide anywhere, anytime connectivity for pop-ups and seasonal stores.”
-Todd Krautkremer, CMO, Cradlepoint