Prime Day 2020 – A blockbuster sales event despite the COVID slowdown
Amazon concluded its sixth edition of the Prime Day last month. In the first part of our blog, we looked at the initial numbers that provided a view on how third parties performed, key metrics across various categories, and the effect Prime Day was likely to have on the upcoming holiday season. In this second blog we will look at the major trends that defined the Prime Day 2020 and analyze some final sales numbers.
Blockbuster Start to the Holiday Season
As per the estimates from Digital Commerce 360, Amazon sales for the Prime Day are approximately $10.4 billion in 2020, which is over 45% increase over last year. Data indicates that due to the positioning Prime Day closer to the holiday season has resulted in consumers purchasing more holiday gifts this year. Despite the COVID slowdown it was still yet another blockbuster event for the retail behemoth.
Marketplace Sales on Prime Day
Marketplace sales was still a driving force this year even though its share fell by 3% compared to the last year. Marketplace sales stood at 35% of the overall sales driving sales of products worth $3.5 billion. As you can see in the figure below Amazon’s marketplace sales for Prime Day have dwindled over the years mainly on account of Amazon promoting its own products. But the scene changes when one looks at annual gross merchandise sale for marketplace where they have a share of over 60%.
Top Selling Products
Once again, the best-selling products were Amazon’s own, while other non-Amazon big sellers included iRobot Roomba Robot Vacuum, LifeStraw Personal Water Filter, and LEGO Star Wars Stormtrooper Helmet.
As usual, Prime Day presented another opportunity for Amazon to promote sales of their brand of products heavily. Due to the proximity of Prime Day to the holiday season. Gift cards saw a significant boost to their sales. Other popular categories included household essentials, toys & video games, and health & beauty products.
Prime Day Vs the Competition
Let’s look at how Prime Day 2020 fared against the major competing shopping events. The data below shows that Prime Day may still be lagging behind more significant shopping events like the Cyber 5 holiday or even the Single’s Day (Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s event) marked on Nov 11 each year. But when these sales are broken down by day, a different picture emerges, and you realize Prime Day fares better. Each day of Prime Sales generated roughly $5.2 billion in sales, which places it ahead of Thanksgiving Day and the Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving Day 2019.
Prime Shaping the Holiday Season
The timing of Prime Day this year ensured that it became an unofficial kick-off to the holiday season. Data from Numerator shows that nearly 1 in 3 shoppers purchased holiday gifts, and most of them intend to spend more in the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
A survey done by Digital Commerce 360 showed that 62% of the shoppers bought holiday gifts during the Prime Day sale this year. Close to 7% of respondents mentioned that all of their Prime Day purchases were holiday gifts. For the holiday season this year, the total US e-commerce sales are likely to rise by 35% to touch about $190 billion as per forecasts from eMarketer. This is likely to propel a strong holiday season.
Subtle Signs of Pandemic Slowdown
COVID pandemic has moved more consumers online this year, resulting in an increase in demand for Amazon and most of the major online retailers. However, the overall sales data indicates that the COVID-led delay of Prime Day to October may have confused some consumers. Data from consumer research firm Captify shows that online searches leading to Prime Day in 2020 dropped 48% compared to last year. This can be considered a good indicator of customer sentiment during the pandemic. Consumers who were already buying online due to the pandemic seemed indifferent to another online sales push. This resulted in a lack of ripple effect that is driven by Prime Day deal-based searches.
While Amazon devices remained in the most popular category like every other year, Coronavirus impacted what people bought globally. Some of the best-selling products worldwide included consumer products like Familia Plus Paper Towels in Turkey, Finish Powerball All in 1 Max Detergent in Spain, Lysol Multipurpose Disinfectant in Mexico, and Dettol Cleaning Wipes Power & Fresh in the Netherlands.
- Amazon crossed the $10 billion mark for its Prime Day sales, a substantial 45% increase over the last year.
- Delayed timing and the ripple effect of Prime Day means that consumers see it as a sales event beyond just Amazon. It is a noteworthy development which, when done repeatedly, could mean Prime Day becoming a holiday event for all retailers not only Amazon.
- Once again, third-party sellers’ sales outperformed Amazon’s first party sales in terms of YoY growth.
- Like the previous Prime Days, the best-selling products were Amazon’s own. At the same time, other non-Amazon big sellers included iRobot Roomba Robot Vacuum, LifeStraw Personal Water Filter and LEGO Star Wars Stormtrooper Helmet.
- Total US e-commerce sales are likely to rise by 35% to touch about $190 billion as per forecasts from eMarketer, providing tailwinds for a healthy holiday season.
- Coronavirus pandemic did slow down the overall sales across various categories.
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