Amazon.com Inc.’s sixth-annual Prime Day is in the books. And it marked yet another record-breaking event for the retail giant, with sales surpassing last year’s 48-hour event by 45.2%, a Digital Commerce 360 early analysis shows.
Digital Commerce 360 estimates Amazon’s sales on Prime Day hit $10.40 billion globally over the two-day period spanning Oct. 13 and Oct. 14, up from $7.16 billion during the 48-hour event in July 2019.
Marketplace sellers were the big winners this year, selling a record of more than $3.5 billion worth of goods during Prime Day, Amazon says. Sales of marketplace sellers’ products grew nearly 60% and—most notably—grew faster year over year than sales of Amazon’s own products, which includes its private-label goods, Amazon devices and products it buys from manufacturers to sell itself.
In the last few Prime Day events, Amazon’s marketplace sales as a share of total Prime Day sales have declined, according to Digital Commerce 360’s analysis, because Amazon heavily promotes its own products. Its devices often top the list of best sellers each year. We estimate 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 approximately 60% in 2019.
This year, however, we project marketplace sales’ share grew to approximately 35% of Amazon’s Prime Day sales, up from 32% in 2019. In the last few years, Amazon has recruited more recognizable brands to its marketplace, which may be one reason for the growth in marketplace products sales this year.
Even before Prime Day began, it was clear Amazon had a bigger focus on its marketplace sellers—which it refers to as small businesses—this year. For example, it had “curated small business collections” during Prime Day, where consumers could browse marketplace sellers’ products by category, business location and owner profiles on Amazon.com/SupportSmall.
Additionally, Prime members were eligible to receive $10 to shop on any products during Prime Day when they spent at least $10 on items sold by marketplace sellers starting Sept. 28 through Oct. 12. This promotion was funded by Amazon. That promotion during those two weeks generated more than $900 million in marketplace sales, Amazon says. The best-selling categories for marketplace products were home goods (specifically bedding products), electronics, nutrition and crafts.
The best-selling products globally were, once again, Amazon’s own products: its Alexa-enabled Echo Dot and Fire Stick 4K. Other big sellers include iRobot Roomba Robot Vacuum, LifeStraw Personal Water Filter and LEGO Star Wars Stormtrooper Helmet.
While Prime Day seems to be another successful event, even despite the delay due to the coronavirus pandemic, there’s one thing that jumped out in Amazon’s press release discussing the results that might indicate it wasn’t as successful as previous events. In similar such press releases the last three years (2017-2019), Amazon pointed out that Prime Day surpassed sales of the previous year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday (the Friday and Monday following Thanksgiving Day). This year, Amazon didn’t mention that sales were higher than Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2019. Perhaps the event’s proximity to the holiday season impacted what could have been an even bigger sales event for Amazon.
Prime Day was a success on non-Amazon sites
Amazon wasn’t the only winner during Prime Day. 51% of the top 100 online retailers offered widespread sales on Tuesday, beyond normal promotions that are run year-round, according to Digital Commerce 360’s analysis. And for many, the promotions worked. On Tuesday, Oct. 13, non-Amazon sites in the U.S. saw a 51% increase in online traffic compared with the first day of the 48-hour event in 2019, according to data from Salesforce Inc. Traffic was also up 17% compared with the Tuesday before Prime Day 2020.
Additionally, conversion rates on non-Amazon sites were up 16% compared with Prime Day 2019 and up 13% compared with the Tuesday before Prime Day, according to Salesforce data.
Online sales for non-Amazon sites grew by 69% globally and 76% in the U.S. Oct. 13 compared with the first day of Prime Day 2019, according to data from Salesforce.com Inc. The software provider aggregates data from the activity of more than 1 billion global shoppers flowing through its Commerce Cloud platform and extrapolates its clients’ findings to the broader retail industry.