Today is the start of Amazon Prime Day, the sales event that attracts millions of shoppers with the promise of low prices. That promise, however, is sometimes an empty one. Many merchants on the marketplace raise prices during the sales event, according to new research. And this year, Amazon added a new invitation-only feature that limits the very best prices to a select few consumers.
What goes down … must go up?
The search for good deals on a wide variety of items on the Amazon marketplace is what drives the excitement around the Prime Day sales event. But according to data compiled by Noogata, an artificial-intelligence data analytics platform for Amazon sellers, many prices rise on Prime Day, often by a substantial amount.
Last year, merchants raised prices 3% or more on 13.72% of the top 10,000 selling items on the Amazon marketplace, according to Noogata. By contrast, 39.33% of the top 10,000 selling items were on sale.
Of particular note in 2022 was that the average price items sold by the 56 top sellers from Amazon Renewed, Amazon’s store for refurbished electronics, rose by 2.5% for Prime Day.
Prime Day prices, Prime member shipping
Amazon is No. 3 in Digital Commerce 360’s new 2023 Global Online Marketplaces Report, which ranks the 100 largest global marketplaces by 2022 third-party GMV.
Amazon’s Prime Day event is limited to members of its paid Prime loyalty program. Benefits of the program include free one-day shipping for a variety of items.
Free shipping and low prices are key to Amazon’s popularity with shoppers. That’s no surprise. A January 2023 survey of 1,108 online shoppers by Digital Commerce 360 and Bizrate Insights showed those factors were key to driving conversions. Nearly 7 out of 10 shoppers (69%) cited free shipping, while 66% cited the “right price” as the reasons they made a purchase.
Worries about inflation altered the behavior of 40% of shoppers during last year’s Prime Day event, according to Digital Commerce 360 research.
This year’s Prime Day event includes a new invite-only promotion in which shoppers were asked to register in advance for access to low prices on select items. The idea is to prevent shoppers from having to reload their browsers constantly to get access to high-demand, short-supply, well-priced items.
To get those deals, shoppers needed to request an invite for discounted items they see on the site — 32% off an Acer Swift X laptop, for example — and get an email if the deal is still available. A unique link lets them buy the product during the sale, which kicked off Tuesday at 3 a.m. Eastern time and runs through Wednesday.
The new promotion adds a kind of lottery effect to some Prime Day bargains and saves Amazon shoppers the hassle of constantly monitoring the site and refreshing their browsers, Kristin McGrath, editor of RetailMeNot, which monitors online deals, told Bloomberg News.
“This way you either get the deal or you don’t, and you don’t waste two days searching for it,” she said.
– Bloomberg News contributed to this story.
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