Amazon’s total sales on Amazon Prime Day, 2015–2021
Amazon’s seventh-annual Prime Day marked another banner period for the web giant. Sales jumped 7.7% in 2021 compared to 2020, a Digital Commerce 360 analysis shows. The modest year-over-year growth was a notable deceleration compared with previous Prime Days. Prime Day sales in 2020 were 45.1% higher than those in 2019.
Globally, Amazon Prime Day sales reached $11.19 billion during the June 21 to 22 event. This is up $10.39 billion compared to the 48-hour event in 2020, Digital Commerce 360 estimates. Amazon postponed the summer sales event in 2020 to mid-October because of the pandemic.
According to Amazon, over 250 million items were purchased during Prime Day in 2021. Amazon is ranked No. 1 in the 2021 Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000.
Amazon’s best-selling products are:
- electronics like the iRobot Roomba 692 robot vacuum;
- Amazon devices like the Fire TV Stick 4K with Alexa voice remote, which was the most popular product during the sale;
- beauty products like teeth-whitening aids;
- baby care;
- and back-to-school items like backpacks, laptops, headphones, notebooks, calculators and Crayola products.
Marketplace sales vs. Amazon’s own product sales
Third-party marketplace seller sales grew at a higher rate than Amazon-owned products. This occurred in 2020 and 2021, according to Amazon. Digital Commerce 360 estimates that marketplace sales increased 12.0% year over year. Amazon products — Amazon devices, private-label goods and products the company buys from manufacturers to sell itself — increased 5.3% year over year.
In 2020, Amazon says marketplace sellers sold $3.5 billion worth of goods during Prime Day. That was a record, up nearly 60% year over year. This is a bigger uptick than the growth in Amazon’s first-party sales.
Amazon did not provide similar guidance for 2021.
Before 2020, Amazon’s marketplace sales as a share of total Prime Day sales had been declining year over year. While third-party sellers represent more than 60% of gross merchandise sales through Amazon annually, the sales breakdown shifts significantly during Prime Day. Amazon promotes its own products for Prime Day. Its devices often top the list of bestsellers each year. Marketplace sellers have accounted for roughly a third of Prime Day sales for years.
Last year, as Amazon began investing more in spotlighting small- and mid-sized businesses selling on its platform while consumer interest in supporting the little guys surged during the pandemic, marketplace sales’ share inched up during Prime Day — to 35% from 32% in 2019, according to Digital Commerce 360. The trend line continued in 2021, with marketplace sales gaining share and reaching 36% of gross merchandise sales for the event. This is all according to Digital Commerce 360’s analysis.
How much do customers spend on Amazon Prime Day?
More than half of consumers — 54% — spent more than $100 on Amazon during Prime Day. A quarter spent more than $250, according to a Digital Commerce 360 survey of 505 online shoppers on June 23, 2021. The Digital Commerce 360-estimated average ticket for Amazon.com in 2020 was $48, although consumers may have placed multiple orders during the two-day sales event. 36% of survey respondents said they spent more on Amazon during Prime Day 2021 than they did in 2020.
Additionally, nearly half of consumers — 45% — reported they purchased two or three items on Amazon during Prime Day. 15% bought six or more items, according to the same survey.
Companies competing with Amazon Prime Day
With a well-documented sales bump, or Prime Day’s “halo effect,” for other retailers, merchants have increasingly run counter sales. This capitalizes on the added traffic from online shoppers during the Amazon-manufactured holiday. Walmart Inc. (No. 2) launched a four-day “Deals for Days” promotion on June 20, and Target Corp. (No. 6) held its three-day “Deal Days” around the same time.
Digital Commerce 360 researchers analyzed the ecommerce sites of the top 250 North American retailers ranked in the Top 1000 to see which merchants were offering a sale directly competing with Amazon Prime Day. These retailers hope to siphon off some of the deal seekers.
On June 21, 50.8% of retailers of the Top 1000 retailers offered their own sales event online. These sales events extended beyond normal promotions that run year-round.
That was up from the prior week. Digital Commerce 360 found that 44.8% of retailers had a large promotion on June 14, or the Monday before Prime Day. The online promotions during Prime Day-week were mostly related to Father’s Day, graduation or other general seasons. The median discount for the top 250 retailers on June 21 was 50% off, up from 40% off on June 14.
According to the Digital Commerce 360 post-Prime Day June survey, consumers reported taking advantage of those competing sales. More than half — 56% — of consumers said they placed an order on Amazon during Prime Day. 17% also reported comparison shopping between online retailers. Interestingly, nearly one in five respondents—18%—said they made a purchase from Walmart during the same period. 13% said they bought from Target. Both Walmart and Target have tracked Amazon’s annual event. They have adjusted their own promotional calendars to fight for consumers’ dollars.
Consumers had mixed feelings about Prime Day event
29% of consumers told Digital Commerce 360 that Prime Day met their expectations. 25% said they were disappointed with the offerings this year. 11% of shoppers still encountered out-of-stock products. Items being out of stock is a signal that retailers are still plagued by inventory challenge. One in 10 bought products that they perhaps didn’t have immediately.