The deals from this week’s Amazon Prime Day may be over, but the boost in consumer activity does seem to have extended beyond the house that Jeff Bezos built.
In the afterglow of the annual shopping event, Amazon announced that Prime Day “grew by more than 60 percent compared to the same 30 hours last year,” with sales by small businesses and entrepreneurs growing even higher. The statement is notably vague about what precisely grew for Amazon, offering no specifics on whether this was sales revenue, units sold, customer visits to the site, or some other key performance indicator. Amazon did, however, say its sales during the event topped its sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Industry watchers such as Slice Intelligence predicted that Prime Day would continue the trend of Amazon shoppers spending more money at the site during the company-created sales event than on “traditional” retail holidays. Slice projected that this year’s Prime Day would show 20 percent growth for Amazon compared with 2016’s Prime Day, thanks to extended hours for deals this time around.
Prime Day may be Amazon’s invention, but rival retailers such as eBay seized the opportunity to market competing offers and discounts during the event to consumers. Those efforts seem to have paid off. Other online retailers did see some increased shopping activity, as was predicted by Criteo. The retargeting firm released data surrounding this year’s Prime Day, and the results show that mass merchants saw a 17 percent increase in users with a 59 percent increase in transactions compared with the prior four weeks leading up to the retail event. That was a slight gain over Prime Day 2016, when visits to non-Amazon, major e-commerce sites rose 15 percent and the number of transactions increased 45 percent relative to the previous four weeks.
Not every segment of retail, however, reaped the same degree of benefit from the shopping frenzy that Prime Day ostensibly incites. Criteo reported that the computer and high-tech merchant segment saw an 11 percent increase in users and a 20 percent increase in transactions. Other retail verticals, however, were relatively flat on visitor traffic during Prime Day — including fashion and luxury, health and beauty, and home improvement and gardening. Despite the disparities in terms of visitors to retailers’ sites, order value rose across all retail verticals — up 10 percent for health and beauty, to as much as a 36 percent increase for home and gardening products.
Though hard sales revenue numbers were not available, the implication is that the collective shopping mood stirred by Prime Day is being tapped by its rivals. This is still Amazon’s sales event, giving the company a greater lift versus its peers. According to Slice Intelligence, last year Target and Walmart shoppers spent more money with those respective retailers on Cyber Monday and Black Friday than on Prime Day, when attention was focused on Amazon. That does not mean there is not room for other retailers to glean from the buzz generated by Prime Day.
“It’s clear that consumers express a general increase in propensity to purchase on Prime Day,” said Jaysen Gillespie, vice president and head of data science and analytics for Criteo. “Non-Amazon retailers are taking advantage of this mindset when shaping their competitive response.”
Joao-Pierre Ruth is a Street Fight contributor.