Has Prime Day Peaked?

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Too Excited to Wait – Non-Amazon eCommerce Retailers Boost Conversions Ahead of Prime Day

Amazon came prepped and ready for 2019’s Prime Day, the eCommerce industry sales event of the summer. The veteran launched the start of the sale with a star-studded free Prime Day Concert that streamed live on Amazon for Prime members. Whether or not the concert was helpful, Amazon saw conversions surge. Amazon was able to see a boost in purchases even before the main event, with a conversion rate of 11% from June thru July 14, 2019, a “pre-Prime” we’ll think about a lot in this article. Year-over-year, that baseline conversion rate is 1.7% higher than it was in 2018.

That increased efficiency helped drive an uptick in purchases as well. 15.5 million people bought at least one item on the two days of Prime this year, up 21% from the 12.9 million who did the same last year.

More Prime Days, Por Favor

Big shocker, Amazon’s shift over the last few years in strategy to extend Prime Day to a two-day event has paid off. Purchases on amazon.com for Prime Day have seen almost a 21% increase in growth YoY. Transactions have grown from 12,854,905 in 2018 to 15,504,342 in 2019. Consumers flocked to amazon.com to make their online shopping dreams come true and Amazon was more than willing to fulfill the request. 

Top Products

As we predicted in the Top Three Things to Expect For Prime Day 2019, Amazon products were the winner for Prime Day 2019. This past year, we saw Amazon products represented 80% of the top products for Prime Day 2019. The top item was the Fire TV Stick with 517,203 purchases for both Monday and Tuesday. The 4K version of the Fire TV stick was also very popular. Purchases for the 4K streaming player reached 269,562 for both days this Prime Day. The Echo Dot, 3rd Gen, was also a fan favorite with 201,467 purchases this year across multiple colors on both days. Additional hits this prime Day included the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter, which had 106,178 purchases. Likewise, Instant Pot had two devices that were popular this Prime Day. The Instant Pot 60 and 60-321 were a favorite with over 90k purchases combined.

This year, Amazon was able to increase its count of products that dominated the top 10. Interestingly, they sold at higher volumes on Monday this year—suggesting that non-Amazon brands fare better on the second day of the Prime Event. The top 5 products accounted for about 10% of all purchases on Monday, 7/15, but only 7% on Tuesday, 7/16. And Amazon volumes were higher on Tuesday, suggesting non-Amazon brands were indeed the drivers of the increases.

In 2018, 55% of the top 10 items were Amazon Products. Similar to the results in 2019, the Amazon Fire TV Stick was the real winner of Prime Day in 2018, purchases on the product were at 754,217. To be clear, older generations of the Fire TV Stick were the hit in 2019, the Generation 2 models. It seems Amazon used the summer sale as a way to clear inventory of older models of the device. 

The Echo Dot was also a standout, with purchases of the smart speaker totaling more than 280,000 for the smart speaker’s various color options. Books also see a huge spike in purchases on Prime Day.  Six books were in the top products count for 2018. 

Book Title Conversions
A Killer’s Mind 343,315
The King Tides 326,824
Whisper Me This 301,960
Beautiful Exiles (Kindle Version) 296,108
The Tenth Island: Finding Joy, Beauty, and Unexpected Love in the Azores (Kindle Version) 281,131
What If Everybody Said That? (What If Everybody?) (Kindle Version) 128,368

This year no books were in the Top 10 for either day of Prime Day.

Top Categories

Year-over-year, we haven’t seen a large shift in the top categories for Prime Day. The top five categories were consistent in 2018 and 2019 with Electronics, Computers and Computer Accessories being the leaders for both years. 

In general, the Electronics category is where most consumers are completing purchases. Amazon helped entice consumers by offering huge deals, including $25 off the Fire Stick TVs, reducing the price to 50%. This might have accounted for the huge success of the product this Prime Day. Even with the super sales, in 2019, we saw purchases in the main electronics category slightly drop. Purchases went from 4,060,778 in 2018 to 4,040,582 this year.  

The Home category was also a hit for 2019 and for 2018. The sub-categories Home, Kitchen, and Dining and Home, Patio, Garden and Lawn were in the top five. When we compared the purchases in the Home category year-over-year, we saw there was nearly a 6% drop in purchases. In 2019 purchases declined from 2,015,983 in 2018 to 1,895,185 this year. 

Move Over Amazon—Other Retailers Join the Party

Amazon wasn’t the only retailer to benefit from the Prime Day excitement.

We took a look at how 25 other retailers fared on Prime Day and while some had moderate growth in conversion rates, including jet.com and staples.com, three took a big bite out of the Amazon pie: nike.com, gap.com, and bestbuy.com. The non-Amazon boss of Prime Day was Nike. Nike’s online transactions grew 2.5x year-over-year and the site saw a 3.6% conversion rate this Prime Day,  a 77.5% increase YoY. While Amazon has strategically been trying to get into the clothing and fashion game, they have had a large problem with counterfeit merchandise, which could have been why consumers have opted to go directly to the brand to make their purchases. 

Some online shopping sites did not have the same success as Nike and Gap on Prime Day this year. Lowes.com, nordstrom.com, and macys.com had negative success this Prime Day. Online transactions were down double digits for the three, -74% for Nordstrom, -52% for Lowes, and -31% for Macy’s YOY for the 2 day period.

Which Day is the Real Winner of Prime Day? 

Using data from Jumpshot, we see that purchases on the Tuesday of Prime Day have increased steadily for the last two years, rising 5.7% in 2018 and 5% this year. For 2019, we saw the Tuesday of Prime Day take the lead with over 300k more purchases than conversions on the Monday of Prime Day. The count on Tuesday was 7.9M vs 7.6M on Monday. 

In order to be clear on what boost Amazon affords during Prime Day, we looked at the data from another perspective. We dove deeper to compare the online shopping behaviors on Prime Day to a typical Monday and Tuesday period to get a better sense of the lift the promotion brings to Amazon and the retail market. Compared to the average summer Monday & Tuesday, Amazon saw 75% more purchases during Prime Day than their average summer baseline. 

Additionally, among 25 other retailers, conversions were up an average of 27% against that Monday and Tuesday baseline. In comparison, in 2018, only two retailers saw a lift over their average Tuesday baseline that was higher than Amazon’s. This year, six retailers were able to capitalize on the increase in shoppers seeking deals at a higher rate than Amazon. 

Final Thoughts 

It seems that for now, consumers are still invested in Prime Day as transactions are continuing to increase year-over-year. Additionally, other retailers are jumping in to benefit from the buzz created for Prime Day. We even saw some retailers directly trolling Amazon, ebay.com promoted a crash sale this year, going after the issue that amazon.com has experienced with too many buyers trying to purchase on the site during Prime Day. We further explored this in the post, Riding the Prime Day Wave — How Other Retailers Push for eCommerce Growth on Amazon’s Big Day. For the ultimate highlights on Prime Day, be sure to check out our latest infographic Amazon Prime Day 2018 vs. 2019.

For more insights into Prime Day and all things eCommerce, be sure to check out the full list of articles in the Jumpshot blog

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