Prime Day numbers are in and according to Internet Retailer, 2019 sales crossed $7 billion with a 70% year-over-year growth. We wanted to explore who this Prime Day shopper might be and how they behaved. Here’s what we learned in an Internet Retailer survey of 628 online shoppers.
Awareness was high
Prime Day has become universally recognized among online shoppers since its 2015 launch. Almost nine out of 10 respondents were aware of Prime Day. Like all things Amazon, their brand is solid and customers continue to come along for the ride.
Membership has its privileges
Seven out of 10 surveyed were already Amazon Prime members and, undoubtedly, they were a key factor in 2019 Prime Day purchasing. There was an important growth opportunity to convert non-Prime members, and clearly trial offers positioned to shoppers were successful. Prime Day Monday saw more new members to the Amazon Prime loyalty program than any previous day and Prime Day Tuesday almost matched the record, according to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.
Active shoppers become active buyers
When it comes to online shopping, we have learned the more activities or level of involvement a shopper has with a site, the greater likelihood to make a purchase. Building sites that highlight tools and simultaneously remind shoppers of deals can best capture the customer’s attention. 21% of shoppers report doing their homework in advance of the Prime Day event. Significant browsing for deals suggests the important role of communication around items viewed and in one’s cart. Knowing that impulse buys matter means site experiences that create a sense of urgency are critical. Omnichannel opportunities should also be explored further for store-based competitors.
Getting shoppers’ attention requires a multi-faceted advertising strategy
Shoppers were “ready” for Prime Day, and it was reinforced by Amazon, social media and online advertising. You have to give Amazon credit when one in three shoppers say they have been waiting for this day so no prompt is necessary. Email still plays a prominent role as one in four were prompted by an Amazon email to make a purchase. Commensurate with patterns that influence shoppers to buy, one in four were prompted by social media, which was on par with online advertising.
Buyers were out in force
Four in 10 respondents made an Amazon purchase on Prime Day. Despite these numbers, the growth of Amazon-created shopping days still has a strong revenue upside as almost 60% didn’t make any purchases. Competitors to Amazon also capitalize on the holiday, and Walmart and Target see residual gains. One in four shoppers also made a Walmart purchase and 15% made a purchase on Target, while other retailers seem to struggle to get significant business. Just like other digital holidays including Cyber Monday and Free Shipping Day, retailers should invest to grow Prime Day sales capitalizing on Amazon’s brand.
Prime Day is an item-driven holiday
Amazon reported that they sold more than 175 million products. We found that the majority (58%) of Prime Day buyers purchase one to two products. While this is seen as standard fare, 42% of buyers purchase three or more products. Knowing this is the case suggests there is an opportunity to move beyond an item-driven business. One can only imagine that encouraging shoppers to build shopping lists can increase both units per order and AOV. Reminding prospects to replenish products may also have an important upside in future years.
Merchants must design for both efficiency and temptation. Shoppers were evenly split between item-driven and browsers when asked if they had an item in mind or were just browsing. Taking it one step further, 39% of those seeking a specific item subsequently comparison shopped. This goes to show that despite the “deal” nature of Prime Day selling, shoppers still hunt to ensure they are getting the best price.
Year-over-year purchasing patterns a mixed bag
One of the most interesting insights was year-over-year purchasing. This was truly a mixed bag, though spending less and or flat spending were somewhat higher. Amazon and others will continue to look for ways to encourage shoppers to spend more.
With single-item purchasing the standard, AOV is currently low but with a strong upside potential. While most Prime Day buyers were spending $100 or less, one in five Prime Day buyers spend over $100.