Amazon’s Prime Day isn’t going anywhere.
The mega e-tailer said its 30-hour discount event that kicked off Monday night made for Amazon’s “biggest day ever” for sales and this year’s Prime Day grew 60 percent over last year. While Amazon didn’t get into specifics on sales or buyers, it said “tens of millions of Prime members” made a purchase across 13 countries and sales were expected by analysts to be around $1 billion.
“More new members joined Prime on July 11 than on any single day in Amazon history,” the company said.
Last year’s Prime Day, which was launched in 2015, was Amazon’s previous biggest sales day.
Beyond pulling in more members for its Prime subscription service, Amazon said the most popular item during this Prime Day was its Echo Dot, Amazon’s voice-controlled device enabled with its artificial intelligence software Alexa.
Amazon said Prime Day was “the biggest sales event for Amazon devices in the U.S. and around the world” for the Echo as well as its Fire tablet and Kindle reading device. The new Fire-enabled Element television was also a best-seller.
Other most popular items include a programmable pressure cooker, whey protein, Sony PlayStation and Nintendo Switch, along with a number of other basic tech devices, like USB cables. Amazon also said 3.5 million toys were sold.
While there were a number of apparel items included in the day of discounts, like certain Under Armour and Adidas products and Amazon’s private-label goods, the company only highlighted that 200,000 dresses were sold. The same number of lightbulbs were sold during the sale.
Nevertheless, Viral Launch, which provides software and marketing services to Amazon sellers, found Tuesday that Amazon sales in apparel, shoes and jewelry were up 180 percent compared with an average day. Even on Wednesday morning, a few hours after Prime Day was officially over, Amazon’s sales in the category were trending 40 percent higher than on a typical day.
Retailers that decided to compete with Amazon during Prime Day with their own deals, like eBay, J.C. Penney, Target and Macy’s, are still holding their sales. Macy’s, for example, is pushing its “Black Friday in July” campaign with discounts on apparel for women, men and kids, as well as accessories and home goods through July 17 and free shipping.
“As much as retailers would like to ignore the impact that Amazon Prime Day brings, some took the challenge head-on,” Nomura analyst Simeon Siegel said in a note.
He pointed to American Eagle Outfitters as one retailer that specifically referenced Alexa in a promotional e-mail that suggested 30 percent off AE jeans was a better deal.
But it may not be enough to keep up with Amazon, which noted Wednesday that some delivery times for Prime Day orders in California and Washington took only 12 minutes.
Other features of a Prime membership, like streaming video, may also continue to lure shoppers away from traditional retailers that simply can’t offer a combination of convenient shopping and entertainment.
Without some version of a premium loyalty program, Tom Caporaso, chief executive officer of Clarus Commerce, thinks “customers are going to keep getting sucked into the massive Amazon ecosystem.”
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