Last year, Amazon Inc. (AMZN) celebrated its 20th birthday by inviting its Prime customers to take advantage of exclusive online deals. This “Prime Day” resulted in the sale of 34 million items—or about 398 per second—and generated over $520 million in revenue—more than three times the company’s daily average. To put this in context: this spike in sales meant that the retailing giant captured 72% of all ecommerce sales that day. Looking ahead to tomorrow’s event, it will be interesting to see if last year’s trends are mirrored—the top sales categories on Prime Day were hardly different from any other day for Amazon—or how they might evolve as competitors promote their own deals in order to capture more market share.
Top Categories Changed Little, But Sales Promotions Dictated Top Items
Home and Electronics typically dominate Amazon’s sales, with Health and Toys close behind. However, Prime Day’s top categories yielded 2-3x more units sold and 3-4x more revenue per category when compared with annual averages. Special deals on products dictated the top items sold on Prime Day: The Lord of the Rings trilogy set, for example, earned nearly $4 million alone during last year’s event. Can The Hobbit trilogy set match similar revenue levels during tomorrow’s event?
What set last year’s Prime Day apart was how effective it was at promoting its own products: Amazon’s promotion for Fire TV sticks produced 150% more in revenue for the product in the one-day event. Will Amazon be as successful in promoting its own products again? Will the Amazon Echo make it into the top five this year?
Market Share Spiked, Even For Marketplace and Non-Prime Customers
Amazon always has a favorable lead when it comes to share of dollars spent at online retailers and Prime Day was no exception. Interestingly, last year’s Prime Day extended beyond its target audience to marketplace and non-Prime customers, which generated similar spikes in revenue.
Some of Amazon’s biggest e-retailer competitors rode on Prime Day’s coattails and experienced similar peaks in sales: Walmart saw a three-fold increase in its sales and Best Buy two-fold, possibly because online shoppers compared Amazon’s deals to other sites. This year, Amazon’s competitors are capitalizing on last year’s bumps by promoting their own specials tomorrow in a bid to combat Prime Day’s revenue share.
More Prime Members & Third-Party Sellers
Prime Day is called Prime Day for a reason – it’s exclusive to Amazon Prime members. Last year’s event attracted hundreds of thousands of new Prime members leading up to and on the big day. Since Prime members tend to spend more than non-Prime users, this was a big win for Amazon.
Aside from new subscription customers, Amazon hopes to expand their relationships with third-party sellers on Prime Day. Having more products at competitive prices drives traffic to the site and hopefully away from competitors.