Amazon held its Prime Day sale for the fourth time last month. The discounts Amazon and marketplace sellers offered drew shoppers that had not bought as part of Prime Day before.

The deals and promotions Inc. facilitates during its annual Prime Day sale event are available only to Prime members, and this year more than half—52%—of members who made a purchase on Prime Day had never taken Amazon up on its Prime Day sale offers before, according to an A.T. Kearney survey of 1,000 Prime Day shoppers in the U.S. A.T. Kearney is a management consulting firm.

Amazon held its Prime Day sale for the fourth time July 18-19 and says the 36-hour event generated more sales and signups for Amazon Prime than any other comparable period in the retailer’s history. It said the same thing in 2017 in the wake of the third Prime Day sale.

That just 48% of buyers on Prime Day were repeat Prime Day shoppers, per A.T. Kearney’s results, gives evidence to just how much Prime membership is growing. As of June, 65.5% of U.S. online households have an Amazon Prime membership, according to an Internet Retailer/BizRate Insights consumer survey. That’s up from 62.4% just three months earlier.


Getting a consumer to sign up for Prime means Amazon can count on that consumer shopping more frequently and spending more money on Amazon. U.S. Prime members place an average of 24 orders with Amazon annually versus 13.2 orders for Amazon shoppers who are not a part of Prime, according to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners data. Correspondingly, Prime members spend an average of $1,400 with Amazon annually versus $600 for non-Prime customers.

Amazon said in April that it has more than 100 million Prime members globally. It does not say where those customers are by country.

Amazon spent about $50,000 a day on paid search desktop advertising for Prime Day-related terms in the two weeks leading up to the sale, according to Kantar Media. It also spent $5.3 million on national TV ads promoting the sale, per Kantar data.

Amazon’s relatively modest Prime Day-specific advertising stems in part from the fact that Amazon’s massive scale and customer base enabled it to use its own resources to promote the event, according to an InfoScout survey of more than 1,000 consumers who made a purchase within the first 25 hours of Prime Day. For example, 51% of consumers heard about the sale from Amazon’s website, 43% heard about it from an Amazon email and 40% learned about it from Amazon’s mobile app (respondents could select more than one response).


Amazon’s messaging effort reached the contingent of new Prime Day shoppers. Among first-time Prime Day shoppers 61% say they made plans to shop on Prime Day four or more days ahead of the sale, according to the A.T. Kearney survey findings. 17% say they learned it was Prime Day on Prime Day and 22% say they planned for Prime Day in the three days before July 18.

Whether or not consumers pre-planned what they’d shop for during the Prime Day sale, 39% of purchases made on Prime Day were impulse buys, according to the A.T. Kearney survey. The products most bought on impulse fell into the cosmetics/beauty, accessories/jewelry, appliances and toys categories.

Internet Retailer estimates consumers globally spent $4.19 billion on Amazon during the Prime Day sale, up 73.9% from an estimated $2.41 billion globally during the 30-hour Prime Day sale in 2017. Internet Retailer estimates $2.65 billion, or 63% of the total sales, were in the United States.

Amazon is the No. 1 retailer in Internet Retailer’s 2108 Top 1000.


For more information on Amazon Prime and Amazon Prime Day, check out the 2018 Amazon Report, available Aug. 7. The report is available for download to Digital Commerce 360 Gold and Platinum members. Single-copy sales are also available.