Amazon’s annual two-day Prime Day sales event this week showed little signs of plateauing, besting the e-tail giant’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales of 2018 and becoming the largest shopping event in the company’s history. The event also paid off handsomely for other retailers tailoring campaigns tied to the event.

Prime Members Purchase More Than 175 million Items

On Amazon.com, Prime members had access to 1 million exclusive deals on Monday and Tuesday, saved more than one billion dollars and purchased more than 175 million items. Prime members also bought more than $2 billion in products from independent small and mid-sized businesses that sell through Amazon’s platform. This year’s event lasted 48 hours versus 36 hours last year.

Amazon did not provide sales figure from the event.  Coresight Research had estimated that Amazon could generate approximately $5.8 billion in global product sales on Prime Day 2019, up by around half from its $3.9 billion estimate for 2018.

According to Amazon, Prime Day was the biggest event by far for Amazon devices, when comparing two-day periods—top-selling deals worldwide were Echo Dot, Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote and Fire TV Stick 4K with Alexa Voice Remote.

Smart home devices were also popular. Top-selling deals included iRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum, MyQ Smart Garage Door Opener Chamberlain MYQ-G0301 and Amazon Smart Plug. In the U.S., top sellers were listed by Amazon as LifeStraw Personal Water Filter, Instant Pot DUO60 and 23andMe Health + Ancestry kits.

Prime members in the U.S. also received “tens of millions” of dollars in savings on Prime Day at Whole Foods, which Amazon acquired in August 2017. Best-selling deals at the grocer were organic strawberries, red cherries and blueberries.

Other highlights, according to Amazon included:

  • Prime members in 18 countries shopped—double the number since the first Prime Day five years ago.
  • More new Prime members signed up on July 15 than any previous day and almost as many on July 16—making them the two biggest days in the history of the sale for member signups
  • Millions streamed Prime Day events including the Prime Day Concert presented by Amazon Music and headlined by Grammy Award-winning artist Taylor Swift.

“We want to thank Prime members all around the world,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO, in a statement. “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. Huge thank you to Amazonians everywhere who made this day possible for customers.”

Amazon offers a free 30-day Prime member trial offer but the company is unsure how many new members will stay members after they take advantage of their Prime Day deals. Captify, which studies consumer search behavior outside of Google and pulls data from Reddit, travel aggregators, retail review sites and others, said searches for “Canceling Amazon Prime” were 18 times higher Tuesday than the day before Prime Day.

Amazon disclosed for the first time last April that the company had more than 100 million paying Prime members worldwide. The figure hasn’t been updated since then.

A Boost Across Retail

The 48-hour shopping extravaganza gave large retailers—$1B+ annual revenue—a boost in online sales of 68 percent, on average, according to Adobe Analytics, which measures the transactions of 80 of the top 100 internet retailers in the U.S.

Walmart, Target, eBay, Macy’s, and Best Buy all ran deals this week. Target pushed discounts for in-house home goods brands. Walmart ran deals through Wednesday.

Niche retailers, which Adobe classifies as those that bring in less than $5 million in annual sales, saw a 28-percent lift in digital sales according to Adobe. Last year niche retailers saw a decrease in sales Adobe said.

The first day of Prime Day brought a 64 percent increase in overall retail online sales and the second day brought a 72 percent spike. The second day of Prime Day was the fourth, outside of the holiday season, to surpass $2 billion in online sales, according to the data.

“Prime Day has become an indisputable summer shopping holiday, greatly benefiting online retailers that can attract consumers to their site through compelling email campaigns or offering value-add services like buy-online, pick-up-in-store,” said Jason Woosley vice president, commerce product and platform at Adobe, in the release. “Due to its ‘halo effect,’ large retailers with major discounts online reaped the benefits of Prime Day, seeing 68 percent lift in revenue across the two days, while niche retailers also saw a significant increase in online sales at 28 percent. This suggests that people are comparison shopping more than ever and will open their wallets to those who offer the best deals, regardless of the size of the retailer.”

Adobe also found:

  • Successful E-mail Campaigns Are Key—Brands that delivered excellent e-mail experiences saw a 52 percent lift in revenue throughout the two days. In comparison, those that lacked a good email strategy saw only a 23 percent bump. The share of revenue coming from email campaigns increased by 7.3 percent over the total Prime Day.
  • Comparison Shopping Is the Norm:—A mix of an influx in visits and an increase in conversion on the second day drove most of the Prime Day lift. Over the two days, visit’s lift accounted for 49 percent of the increase in revenue while conversion accounted for 46 percent, the rest was because of bigger baskets.
  • Electronics Lead Discount Action—Like Monday, electronics saw some of the best discounts on Tuesday, with the discounts being slightly better for Tuesday, at 10 percent, compared to Monday’s 9 percent. Among electronics, smart devices saw the highest discounts with 20 percent off smartphones, 12 percent off smartwatches and 10 percent off smart TVs.

According to research by Jumpshot, among the retailers that saw year-over-year online transaction gains over the Prime Day period were Best Buy (60.7 percent), Costco (35.3 percent), Etsy (21.5 percent), Gap (100.4 percent), Home Depot (13.1 percent), IKEA (3.7 percent), Kohl’s (42.8 percent), Nike (153.2 percent), Sam’s Club (48.2 percent), Target (18.2 percent), Walmart (42.6 percent), and Wayfair (8.7 percent),

Department stores were the biggest losers. J.C. Penney, Macy’s, Nordstrom, and Sears posted significant year-over-year declines in online transactions based on Jumpshot’s findings.

For non-Amazon companies having sales during the period, search volumes increased an average of more than 500 percent over Prime Day (July 15 to 16) according to Constructor.io which fields millions of search queries every day. The biggest lifts were seen in the apparel categories with the smallest bump in groceries. For the browsers who entered those sites during that time, purchase intent was very high. Non-Amazon sites saw four times the typical amount of purchases per user in those two days.

Eli Finkelshteyn, CEO and co-founder of AI-first search as a service provider, said “Amazon isn’t the only e-commerce player cashing in on their annual shopping spree. Everyone running a sale on Prime Day wins. Our data shows that users are willing to shop on other sites, big or small, and are spending a lot of time searching and buying products especially for more luxury, irregular purchases.”

Still, Edison Trends, which studies online receipts, said that in the first 24 hours of Prime Day, Amazon took an 88 percent share of the market measuring a group that includes the company’s four major “Anti-Prime Day” contenders: Best Buy, Walmart, eBay, and Target.

Photo courtesy Amazon