Prime Day? Giving Amazon a new edge

Prime Time
Michele Caprini
19 Jul 2019

“Prime day lead the way” would be the perfect synthesis, since many competitors benefitted from the offers during the period. Let us put aside the boastful success of the following day (typical comments as they are for Singles’ day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday) for more meaningful observations.

Prime Day or Prime Time

Amazon confers that 2019 Prima Day sales overtook the combined sales of Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2018. The company states it sold more than 175 million items this year, compared to last year’s 100 million.

Yet, Prime Day is losing track of its origins as a promotion to its members. Mid-July has become a nation-wide sales party, where more than 250 American brands took advantage of the exponential traffic growth on the platform, according to online coupon tracker RetailMeNot. For some, Prime Day has been titled “Prime Time”.

Walmart, for example, launched a summer sale event which only closed Wednesday night. Target, eBay, Macy’s and Best Buy are among the other main retailers which joined the band wagon.

Main distributors, those making over a billion USD revenue per year, saw positive sales. Compared to standard Monday averages, Monday 15th July noticed an increase of 64% in e-commerce sales. A significant improvement to last year’s 54%.

Even small distributors (less than 5 million USD revenue per year) benefitted from the momentary traffic. They witnessed an increase of 30% in online sales on Monday.

The unknown factor

There is still one point to understand, which previous Prime Day analyses cannot. No one can yet say whether sales were due to impulsive purchases encouraged by the promotion, or if they are simply waiting for the most convenient time to purchase items which they were going to buy nonetheless.

Assuming the latter, the negative effects can be blamed on the upcoming “back-to-school” period and Christmas shopping.

According to Edited, a company specialised in market research, the highest discounts were given by Walmart, Macy’s, Zappos, Nordstorm and Zara, not Amazon. Already in 2018, the average discount of competitor resellers was at 42.7%, compared to 39% in 2017.


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