Amazon.com Inc. is poised to achieve yet another sales milestone with Prime Day 2017.
Internet Retailer projects that U.S. shoppers will spend $1.56 billion on Amazon during the 30-hour sale that spans from 6 p.m. Pacific on Monday through midnight Pacific on Tuesday. That would be a 20% jump from the Internet Retailer-estimated $1.30 billion that U.S. shoppers spent on Amazon last year on Prime Day.
Shoppers around the globe, including those in the U.S., are expected to spend $2.18 billion during that same time span, up 21% from an Internet Retailer-estimated $1.80 billion on Prime Day 2016. Amazon, No. 1 in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 500, does not release exact sales figures for Prime Day.
Amazon is running Prime Day promotions in 13 countries, up from 10 last year. The countries are: the U.S., U.K., Spain,Mexico, Japan, Italy, India, Germany, France, China, Canada, Belgium and Austria. China, India and Mexico are new this year. Only members of Amazon’s Prime loyalty program can access Amazon’s discounts during the sales event. U.S. Prime customers can pay $99 annually or $10.99 per month to receive such perks as free two-day shipping, digital photo storage, and streaming video and music. Amazon also has a 30-day free trial membership, a student membership that offers six months free and then 50% off for four years or until graduation, whichever comes first, and it offers Prime for $5.99 a month to customers with an Electronic Benefits Transfer card for a government assistance program.
The consumer electronics and accessories category accounted for the largest share of sales during the previous two Prime Days. For instance, last year the category accounted for 32.2% of all sales on Prime Day 2016, nearly double that of the second most popular category, home & kitchen, according to Internet Retailer’s special report, “How to Prepare for Amazon Prime Day 2017,”
Prime Day 2016, held on July 12, also a Tuesday, produced what Amazon called its biggest-ever sales day, with global orders up by more than 60% compared with Prime Day 2015 and orders placed by U.S. shoppers up by more than 50% year over year.
However, there are a couple of notable differences about Prime Day this year. Amazon this year extended the sale to 30 hours, up from 24 hours the previous two years. Amazon has made a more aggressive push to engage Prime members this year by offering Prime Day-like deals in the lead up to Prime Day. For instance, from July 8 through Tuesday, Amazon is offering discounts on everything from ice cream to
alcohol ordered through its Prime Now two-hour delivery service. Starting July 5, Amazon began offering Prime-like deals at its Amazon Books locations, a move designed to get Prime members into its stores.
Amazon wants to keep Prime members engaged because those shoppers both spend more and buy more often from Amazon than those who aren’t Prime members. U.S. Prime members spend $1,300 per year on Amazon, compared with $700 per year for non-Prime members, according to estimates from securities research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP). Prime members also buy from Amazon an average of 25 times per year, compared with 14 times per year for non-Prime members, CIRP says.
CIRP estimates that Amazon now has about 85 million Prime members in the U.S., up 34.9% from 63 million last year. CIRP’s data is based on a survey of 500 U.S. shoppers who bought something on Amazon from April-June.