The fifth-annual Amazon Prime Day is in the books, and it is Amazon.com Inc.’s biggest sales event ever.
Amazon (No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 1000 and No. 3 in the Online Marketplaces database) didn’t provide specifics on sales or growth of its fifth-annual Prime Day. However, based on early analysis of marketplace sales, Amazon’s top-selling product categories and key site metrics, like conversion rate and traffic, Internet Retailer estimates sales hit $7.16 billion globally over the 48-hour period July 15-16. That’s up 71% from the $4.19 billion sold during the 36-hour sales event last year.
Here’s Internet Retailer’s data analysis of this year’s Prime Day.
Amazon’s total sales on Prime Day, 2015 – 2019
While Amazon doesn’t disclose total gross sales, it did say the retailer sold more than 175 million products during the two-day event (July 15-16, 2019). That compares with 100 million products sold during Prime Day 2018.
The main reason for the 71% growth in sales, which is higher than what Internet Retailer projected, is because the sale was 12 hours longer than last year. There also weren’t any major technical issues with Amazon’s site like last year’s event. In addition, there were 10 million more Prime members at 105 members this year than last year, according to estimates from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP). Prime membership is Amazon’s $119 annual loyalty program that gives shoppers free two-day shipping, among other benefits. Prime Day deals are only eligible for Prime members.
On July 15, the first of this year’s two Prime Days, Amazon signed up more new members of its Amazon Prime loyalty program than any previous day and nearly matched that record on July 16, the retailer says. Prime members spend more than twice as much on the site each year than non-Prime members, according to CIRP.
How does Prime Day compare with other online shopping holidays around the world?
Based on Internet Retailer’s estimates, the 2019 Prime Day sales event still lags behind larger shopping events such as the Cyber 5 holiday (the five-day shopping period beginning Thanksgiving Day) or Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Limited’s Singles’ Day event held on Nov. 11 each year. But when these sales events are broken down by day, Prime Day fares a little better. For example, given that Prime Day was a 48-hour sales event this year, we estimated that each of the two days generated roughly $3.58 billion in sales. That would mean Prime Day sales were ahead of online sales generated on Thanksgiving Day, and the Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving Day.
In 2018, online sales during the five-day period beginning Thanksgiving Day grew 19.2%, according to Internet Retailer estimates. Meanwhile, Amazon’s Prime Day sales, while less than a third of total Cyber 5 sales, grew more than 70% this year.
Will Prime Day sales affect Cyber 5 2019 sales? The data has yet to suggest that. It may be that the bulk of Prime Day shopping is consumers purchasing goods for themselves rather than holiday gifts.
Marketplace sales vs. Amazon’s own products
Amazon also said sales of products from its marketplace sellers crossed $2 billion. Comparatively, last year Amazon said its marketplace sales “far exceeded” $1 billion.
Internet Retailer estimates marketplace sellers’ sales only account for about a third of Prime Day sales. This breakdown is different from Amazon’s annual gross merchandise sales, for which marketplace sellers accounted for 58% in 2018. The share of marketplace sales is different on Prime Day because Amazon typically uses this sales event to promote its own products. For instance, top-selling products worldwide were Amazon’s Echo Dot and Fire TV Sticks. Sales of marketplace products were $2.29 billion for Prime Day 2019, Internet Retailer estimates.
Prime Day gains recognition among consumers
Internet Retailer surveyed 628 online shoppers after this year’s Prime Day sales event. Based on the results, we found that nearly 90% of those surveyed are familiar with Prime Day. Considering Prime Day is only five years old, that’s an impressive feat for Amazon.
Additionally, 58% of Prime Day buyers purchase one to two products. 42% of Prime Day shoppers purchased three or more products.
How non-Amazon retailers fared
Several major retailers, including Walmart Inc. (No. 3), Best Buy Co. Inc. (No. 13), Target Corp. (No. 16) and eBay Inc. (No. 5 in the ranking of Internet Retailer Online Marketplaces) launched competing sales before and during Prime Day. Those events helped boost overall U.S. online spending.
Large retailers (those that make $1 billion or more in annual revenue) had a 64% increase in online sales on Monday compared with a typical Monday, according to data from Adobe Analytics. On Tuesday, the gain was 72% compared with an ordinary Tuesday, while the increase over the entire period was 68%, Adobe finds. July 16 also became the fourth day ever—outside of the holiday season—to surpass $2 billion in U.S. online sales.
Across the two days, niche retailers (those with sales below $5 million per year) saw online sales grow 28% compared with a typical Monday and Tuesday period, Adobe found.
Adobe builds its retail reports on an analysis of 1 trillion website visits to over 4,500 retail sites and 55 million SKUs. Adobe measures transactions at 80 of the top 100 retailers on the web in the Internet Retailer Top 1000, according to Adobe.
Lauren Freedman and Stephanie Crets contributed.