Amazon and rivals report record Prime Day results

Discussion
Source: Amazon
Jul 18, 2019
George Anderson

While Amazon’s 48-hour Prime Day event didn’t go off entirely without service interruptions or complaints from customers about lags in delivery times, the e-tail giant claims the promotion was a sales success with more items purchased over the two-day event than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.

In all, Prime members purchased more than 175 million items, with Amazon’s own devices, including the Echo Dot and its Fire TV Stick models, reaching new sales highs. 

U.S. Prime members were in good shopping form, purchasing more than 100,000 lunchboxes, 100,000 laptops, 200,000 TVs, one million headphones, 350,000 luxury beauty products, 400,000 pet products, 650,000 household cleaning supplies and more than one million toys from Amazon and its marketplace vendors. Among the big sellers for Amazon in the U.S. were the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter, Instant Pot DUO60 and 23andMe Health + Ancestry kits.

Amazon wasn’t the only retailer to benefit from all the Prime Day attention. Retail rivals with annual sales of $1 billion or more posted a 64 percent increase in sales on Monday, according to Adobe Analytics.

Source: Amazon Prime Day Insights from Jumpshot

Among the retailers that saw year-over-year online transaction games for the Prime Day period were Best Buy (60.7 percent), Costco (35.3 percent), Etsy (21.5 percent), Gap (100.4 percent), Home Depot (13.1 percent), IKEA (3.7 percent), Kohl’s (42.8 percent), Nike (153.2 percent), Sam’s Club (48.2 percent), Target (18.2 percent), Walmart (42.6 percent) and Wayfair (8.7 percent), according to research by Jumpshot shared with RetailWire.

Department stores were the biggest losers. J.C. Penney, Macy’s, Nordstrom and Sears posted significant declines in online transactions, based on Jumpshot’s findings. 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Are Prime Day and rival sales promotions now part of the American shopping psyche? What can rivals learn from this year’s experience to produce improved results in 2020? What is preventing department stores from getting in on the action?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"Department stores have a year to figure this one out. Otherwise, Amazon will continue to be their annual summer nemesis on steroids."
"Any retailer not experiencing a sales lift during Black Friday in July needs to reevaluate their marketing and promotional strategy..."
"Amazon is great at getting other retailers to “bite the hook” and engage in a race to the bottom, which Amazon will ultimately win."

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18 Comments on "Amazon and rivals report record Prime Day results"


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Mark Ryski
BrainTrust

Yes, Prime Day is now part of the shopping psyche – it transcends Amazon and has already become a major shopping event. All retailers need to realize that this is a general shopping event and as such it behooves them to find a way to participate. Department stores can choose to ignore Prime Day, but they do so at their own peril. I suspect that many department stores are so focused on getting their own internal act together, that they simply choose to ignore it.

Art Suriano
BrainTrust
Prime Day has become an annual event that most consumers are aware of and look forward to participating in. Amazon gets credit for the brilliant concept, marketing, and buying opportunities. The competitors who offered their own version of specially-priced merchandise found success because the consumer will always go with the best bargain, and no doubt found what they wanted someplace other than Amazon. Those who did not do well such as the department stores have two choices: 1.) don’t participate and find something at a different time that works for you or 2.) figure out a smart way next year to get into the game. However, just assuming you can make sales without any competitive effort that will attract the consumer is laughable. The consumer has always hunted the sales opportunities, and Amazon Prime Day has gotten everyone programmed to know that once a year is THE day to go shopping. Smart retailers can figure out what works for them, seeing they still have 364 days a year to choose the day that works best… Read more »
Gene Detroyer
BrainTrust

Prime Day is not Amazon’s concept. It is a copy of Singles Day from Alibaba. Bravo for Amazon copying it. Singles Day is the biggest shopping day in the world.

Jeff Sward
BrainTrust

And … Singles Day is coming to the U.S. in some form. Buckle in.

Neil Saunders
BrainTrust

Prime Day is now firmly embedded in consumer culture. The performance of department stores and Bed Bath & Beyond is interesting, it shows that polarization between the good and the rest is accelerating. The good are nimble and can take advantage of the Amazon-inspired day; the rest are flailing around without a purpose or point of view. Promotional days and special offers can’t save them.

Jeff Sward
BrainTrust

Was Prime Day an “experience” or just another bigger, better sale supported by a zillion dollars worth of free advertising? There is so much talk about how “experiential retail” is the must-do next wave evolutionary move, but look at the response to a well-hyped sale. So yes, Prime Day is now institutionalized into the very fabric of retail. Christmas in July. Memo to department stores — think maybe your “sales” have lost a little punch? And where do you go from “sales” 24/7/365?

Liz Adamson
BrainTrust

Amazon has succeeded in creating a new shopping holiday. This year was even more heavily promoted than the last, with a concert by Taylor Swift, the launch of a new beauty line by Lady Gaga, and I even heard radio ads in my own local market. More promotional opportunities were given to third-party sellers on the platform and on average we saw a 60 percent rise in sales. There was a wide range of results, some sellers saw 7x increases while others saw only 15 percent. The difference was primarily preparation, including marketing, promotions and inventory. In short, those that fully leaned into Prime Day saw the largest increases.

Frank Riso
BrainTrust

Prime Day is now part of the American shopping psyche! Who does not like a bargain in the middle of the summer months? All retailers need to get on board, since we are ready to shop but shop for bargains. The list of items sold did not include much if any apparel and that is what keeps the department stores out of the picture on Prime Day. They will need to be more aware of the items to put on sale if any at all. As long as Prime Day is only once a year it will continue to be a success.

Richard J. George, Ph.D.
BrainTrust

Prime Day(s) are the new Black Friday and Cyber Monday on steroids. Why? First, the event is not distracted by holiday shopping noise and the Thanksgiving family events. Prime Days occur during the dog days of summer when little beyond the Women’s World Cup and baseball are vying for Americans’ attention. Second, Americans feel richer now than at Thanksgiving when they are trying to budget for holiday spending. Third, as noted in the article many of the traditional brick-and-mortar retailers apparently chose to sit this one out, leaving little in the way of any significant competitive response.

Department stores have a year to figure this one out. Otherwise, Amazon will continue to be their annual summer nemesis on steroids.

Chris Buecker
BrainTrust

A definite yes! In future, these kind of big online sales day will become the new normal. It started with Black Friday, then was enlarged by Cyber Monday. Now Prime Day. Several other promotional days will follow. The question is: How will non truly-omnichannel retailers cope with it?

Meaghan Brophy
BrainTrust

Prime Day is absolutely part of the American shopping psyche. However, it’s much bigger than just Prime Day. This is the first year I’ve seen widespread use of the phrase “Black Friday in July” from retailers promoting rival sales. Consumers seem to be very receptive to a Black Friday in July concept, as is reflected in the sales lift seen by many other retailers, both large and small. CNBC reported that niche retailers also saw a 30 percent increase in online sales on Monday. So this event is not exclusive to the Amazons and Walmarts of retail – consumers are taking advantage of every sales opportunity. Any retailer not experiencing a sales lift during Black Friday in July needs to reevaluate their marketing and promotional strategy and/or product selection.

Gene Detroyer
BrainTrust

How many of us made purchases?

Dick Seesel
BrainTrust

I bought two items during Prime Days — both on sale, but neither one featured “loss leader” items. (Probably would have been the same price today.) No doubt Amazon made money on people like me, who were drawn to the site in order to browse the specials — and no doubt Amazon grew its Prime membership in a big way, as it does yearly.

Steve Dennis
BrainTrust

Like the endless ratcheting up of promotions, Amazon Prime Day is yet another gimmick where the beast from Seattle gets other retailers to bite the hook. Sales data for a couple of days tells us nothing new or useful about overall sales trends or, more importantly long-term loyalty or profits, as I point out in this Forbes piece.

Amazon is great at getting other retailers to “bite the hook” and engage in a race to the bottom, which Amazon will ultimately win. The prescription for department stores is to work on being more remarkable, not to chase promiscuous shoppers or compete on the lowest price.

Josh Clouser
Guest

Prime Day used to be an Amazon event, now, the generative consumer interest spoils are strategically being targeted by other rival retailers. This is not unique to this year’s sales, it has been occurring for the last few years; though this year’s mid-summer sales have been marketed the best by the competition and are diverting sales away from Amazon. What was a day for Amazon, is now a competitive sales and shopping event for consumers in America.

Retailer’s are not the only person who can profit, companies who choose to participate can as well, but this comes with a cost. Often times, these steep pricing discounts are funded by the manufacturer, shrinking their margin, in hopes that sales traction explodes and they can be the “LifeStraw of 2019.” I’ll be interested to see what happens next year at the intersection of opportunity and cost.

Cate Trotter
BrainTrust

Prime Day is definitely an established shopping event and clearly it’s not just benefitting Amazon. What’s stopping department stores? Possibly some sense that to embrace it is to support/help their competition. Or the continued slow reactions that put them behind when it comes to the internet. The problem is that as more and more consumers look to Prime Day as a pillar in the shopping calendar, the more department stores will slip behind by not being part of it.

I think the introduction of Singles Day in the US will also be interesting — will it be a case of too many shopping events and customer fatigue? Or has Amazon been savvy enough in establishing Prime Day first to keep customer interest above any rivals?

Ken Morris
BrainTrust

Absolutely — customers are drawn to sales and Prime Day has become one of the biggest with more retailers taking advantage of the momentum from the Amazon-driven day. While there were many online competitors utilizing the promotional push from Amazon to highlight their own deals, it seems that many brick-and-mortar retailers still have opportunities to get in on the action. These retailers should look at this year’s promotions to drive their own promotions next year.

Kai Clarke
BrainTrust

Amazon has made Prime Day a retail shopping fixture. This is accelerating the death of the old business models, starting with department stores. We can expect to see retailers who primarily focus on brick and mortar purchasing to also see substantial declines. Amazon is leading the way to the future of retail and writing on the wall is very clear: Adapt or perish.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"Department stores have a year to figure this one out. Otherwise, Amazon will continue to be their annual summer nemesis on steroids."
"Any retailer not experiencing a sales lift during Black Friday in July needs to reevaluate their marketing and promotional strategy..."
"Amazon is great at getting other retailers to “bite the hook” and engage in a race to the bottom, which Amazon will ultimately win."

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