Amazon is usually shy on the morning after Prime Day and offers broad references to its success. 2020 is no exception.
Amazon dubbed Prime Day 2020 the “two greatest days of all time” for its third-party vendors, who sold $ 3.5 billion worldwide, up 60% from 2019.
For actual spend numbers, we have to rely on outside sources like eMarketer, which would spend an estimated $ 6.2 billion – up from $ 4.3 billion in 2019 – but actual numbers won’t be available until 2021.
So you really need to read between the lines to find out how consumers reacted to a delayed Prime Day. So far we have found the following:
It was a little noisy
The biggest takeaway might actually be what didn’t happen this year. There was a definite lack of enthusiasm from both consumers and the media, according to Zach Weinberg, director of Gartner’s Amazon Advisory Group.
In 2019, however, Taylor Swift was leading a pre-Prime Day concert by Jane Lynch, and pre-orders for Lady Gaga’s makeup line began only for Amazon.
“I thought consumers might be more aware of their overall Prime Day spending this year,” Weinberg said. “I actually think that something came true because the buzz around so many different things and what happened … was much less.”
Because of this lack of excitement and star power, the event felt more like the first Prime Day in 2015, with customers repeatedly complaining that it was just an online yard sale.
It may be too early to go holiday shopping
Right now, to be fair, Americans have many distractions between the pandemic, the elections, and economic fears. But retailers – including Amazon – were hoping to speed up early vacation shopping with October deals. And while the holiday season is certainly just underway from a retail perspective, it doesn’t necessarily apply to consumers.
Look no further than Amazon’s top products that were very similar to previous years, including Alexa-enabled devices, Roombas, and LifeStraw water filters. In fact, the Echo Dot was the most popular item, purchased for the fourth year in a row.
Data from Profitero shows that Amazon – especially on day one – gave a significant boost to its own products and offered the highest discounts. The only products that were offered for more than 50% off were the devices from Amazon, which were among the top 15 products according to Profitero.
“I think because of so many distractions, consumers may not have been ready to lean in as much as they normally would have done in another year,” Weinberg said.
But that doesn’t mean that Prime members weren’t in the vacation spirit at all. 29% of consumers bought Christmas gifts per meter, an increase of 8% at the July 2019 event. Of these shoppers, 25% said they completed at least half of their Christmas purchases on Prime Day.
Amazon also increased its efforts to sell gift cards this year, devoting 28% of its ad budget to them – compared to just 1% in 2019, Numerator said. As a result, both new gift cards and gift card reloads were among the top six best-selling items – and 17% of consumers said they will spend less on Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year.
Other retailers stole the thunder from Amazon
The biggest story could actually be what happened on Amazon’s Prime Day this year. According to RetailMeNot, more than 350 retailers have offered promotions, up from 250 last year. Per Forrester, this includes more than half of fashion and department stores, as well as the majority of multi-category retailers like Walmart, Target, and Overstock.com.