Was Amazon’s latest Prime Day a real success or just a way to clear inventory?
Amazon Prime Day has come and gone again. And as the dust settles from the furious clicking, #PrimeDayFail rants, legions of happy crock-pot purchasers, and even Amazon’s report on the day’s success, we looked at the subscriptions and purchases data of our customer panel. We noticed something….interesting.
While the total purchases and purchased products showed similar year over year growth to Amazon’s reports, the number of new Amazon Prime subscribers decreased from last year, quite significantly.
In 2015, Amazon was immensely successful at signing up new Prime members during the lead-up to Prime Day with a massive spike the day before and day of the sale. Jumpshot’s data shows that Amazon signed up double the number of Prime members in July 2015 than in June 2015.
In 2016, while new customers signed up to Prime at a greater clip during June and July, Amazon didn’t experience the same meteoric spike during and around Prime Day. Our data shows that Prime subscriptions were actually down 40 percent in July 2016 compared to June 2016.
It’s too early to know if the change this year was the result of market saturation, increased competition from brands like JC Penney and Kohl’s, who both announced their own July sales promotion to compete with Prime Day or some other factor. But if this is the go-forward trend, and new Prime members are the goal, Amazon might want to revisit their Prime Day strategy as a new customer acquisition play.
In addition, when analyzing the top products sold – 10 of the top 15 were all Amazon products (Kindles, Fires, gift cards, etc). The only non-Amazon items to crack the top 15 were the Instant CrockPot, Exploding Kittens game and memory cards used for gaming.
If the long game for Amazon is to create a Summer version of Black Friday to increase its Amazon Prime user-base, our data indicates that the tactic isn’t effective. If the goals are to drive more transactions and sales and clear out their own excess inventory in what used to be a non-peak timeframe for retail shopping, then they were very successful once again.
However, with other retailers jumping into the game and offering massive discounts, future competition is only going to get stronger. Amazon has disrupted the retail industry and now it looks like it might have to deal with the regular problems of that industry as well.