Amazon.com Inc.’s Prime Day sales event kicked off at midnight Pacific Time July 15, and hours into the sale, many retailers were reporting sales well above an average day.
Prime Day is Amazon’s annual sales event in July. Internet Retailer projects Amazon—No. 1 in the Internet Retailer 2019 Top 1000—will sell more than $6 billion worth of goods on Prime Day, which runs July 15-16. This would be a 46% increase over Prime Day 2018, which was a 36-hour sales event.
A number of Amazon marketplace sellers appear to be benefiting from that growth. For example, Fenrici Brands, an Amazon marketplace seller of backpacks, says early sales results for July 15 Prime Day are 10 times an average day, says founder Mike Zhang. Last year, Fenrici was just getting started as a brand, he says.
The retailer has several Prime Day deals, which is noted on Amazon.com with an “Exclusive Prime Day” deal badge. About 70% of its products have the badge, and Fenrici’s Prime Day deals range from 25-60% off its normal prices, Zhang says. This notation has helped its product stand out, Zhang says.
Business-to-business facilities supplier SIM Supply says that even just halfway through the day it is seeing positive results for sales of its products on Amazon.com, says Joe Caldwell, ecommerce manager. “Last year on Prime Day, we were not as prepared as we were this year, and our results [this year] certainly show the extra effort we put into our advertising, and pricing appears to be paying off,” Caldwell says.
Because shoppers are already in the shopping mindset thanks to the hype around this sale, along with several retailers hosting competing sales, many merchants also see a bump in sales off of their own ecommerce site.
“Amazon is changing the landscape of retail spending and marketing trends, putting pressure on retailers to respond with new ideas, trying to get market share of this July spending spree,” says Tyler Higgins, director of the retail practice at global consulting firm AArete.
Art retailer OverstockArt.com has experienced this phenomenon of shoppers being in a strong buying mood in July because of Prime Day, as sales are elevated for the retailer on its own site and across the marketplaces it sells on, says Amitai Sasson, vice president of marketing and development. The retailer has prepared for Prime Day 2019 shoppers by offering its own “prime deals” on OverstockArt.com,
“Amazon has turned this day into a special day for all retailers,” Sasson says. “We are doing a special promotion for VIP customers with the idea that they are our ‘prime customers,’ giving them 60% off our canvas prints from our ‘Artist Become’ art collection. We are also running a ‘Christmas in July 50% off All Art’ promotion all through July.”
Christmas Central, which sells holiday, pool and patio products, says sales are off to a “promising start” on Amazon, on other marketplaces on which it sells and on its own ecommerce site. Early results indicate 100% growth in Amazon sales over Prime Day 2018, 20% revenue growth on other marketplaces and a 100% increase in sales off its own site, says Nathan Gordon, vice president at Christmas Central. What’s more, these sales are occurring organically from more consumers shopping since Christmas Central is not offering a specific Prime Day deal.
“Amazon sales drive people to do comparison shopping off its site so we’re seeing an increase on other marketplaces and our own site,” Gordon says. “We think it’s going to be a great two days, and it will lead right into our Christmas in July sale.”
Similarly, engagement ring retailer Allurez says sales via Amazon so far on Prime Day are 25% higher than they were during Prime Day 2018, says Raphi Mahgerefteh, founder and CEO. Plus, sales on its own site are 15% higher compared with Prime Day last year, which Mahgerefteh attributes to a site redesign and improved marketing efforts. However, he does note that some customers are coming to its site directly from Amazon.
Not all retailers, however, are seeing a bump. Bookseller GVSU Laker Store, for example, doesn’t actively sell or promote products for Prime Day, says Paul Cullen, manager for web fulfillment, warehouse and inventory. While sale are ramping up “a little bit,” Cullen attributes that to students shopping for books, not the annual sales day.
Bloomberg News reported that sales of consumable products on Amazon during the first nine hours of Prime Day are about triple what they are on a typical sales day, according to CommerceIQ, which helps hundreds of consumer brands sell products on the e-commerce site.
Digital Commerce 360 staff contributed to this report.