Amazon’s Prime Day Breaks Records with Its Biggest Day Yet

Amazon says this year’s Prime Day shopping event was the biggest in the company’s history, up 60% from the same 30-hour period last year.

Although official figures have not been revealed, Amazon reported that its record-breaking sales surpassed 2016’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday totals, combined. Popular product categories included cooking, electronics, and home goods.

It was Amazon’s Day.

Products directly sold by Amazon like the Echo were the most popular purchases on Prime Day. As with previous years, sellers eligible for FBA and Seller Fulfilled Prime benefited in regards to eligibility and placement. As a result of Prime Day’s first-party focus, third-party sellers, retailers, and brands on the Amazon marketplace saw more measured and mixed results.

The primary reason that not all sellers shared in the windfall is due to the fact that, at its core, Prime Day is less about simply the product sales and more about selling Amazon itself.

Gaining new Prime members is a key part of Amazon’s strategy, as those customers tend to be more loyal than other shoppers. The average Prime member spends $1,300 on the online shopping platform annually, compared with $700 for non-Prime members.

Amazon added more new Prime members on July 11 than on any other day in the company’s history, and the number of Prime members who made purchases was up more than 50 percent year-over-year.

If this growth trajectory continues, Amazon Prime should be used in more than 50 percent of all U.S. households before the year is over – meaning, according to estimates, more U.S. households may have an Amazon Prime subscription than a paid TV subscription as soon as next year.

Retailers and Marketplaces held their own parties.

Many major retailers leveraged the excitement of Prime Day by offering their own massive sales events to take advantage of the Amazon halo effect.

Toys R Us held its biggest site-wide sale of the year. Sears promoted online-only doorbusters with their “Summer Splash” event. JCPenney held a “Penney Palooza” sale, and Macy’s, Best Buy and others offered special deals during the Prime Day window.

Other marketplaces got in on the action as well. NewEgg held their “FantasTech” sale in conjunction with Prime Day, and eBay touted their competitive deals and price match.

Walmart and matched more of Amazon’s discounts than other retailers. In addition, Walmart now offers two-day, free shipping with no membership fee for purchases of at least $35.

Walmart’s marketplace continues to be more and more attractive to consumers, and recent acquisitions have helped expand Walmart’s assortment and give it access to more and more brands. On Prime Day this year, Walmart had the greatest overlap in its online product assortment compared with Amazon’s.

CommerceHub founder and CEO Frank Poore recently chatted with eMarketer about the expansive growth of U.S. marketplaces and Walmart’s potential to be one of the biggest beneficiaries in sellers’ efforts to grow.

However, even as other marketplaces succeed, with more and more brands having their orders fulfilled by Amazon, Prime-eligible product assortment continues to increase Prime’s penetration.

“Amazon is a market that can’t be ignored.” – Frank Poore

This year’s performance shows Amazon’s shopping holiday doesn’t show signs of slowing. You simply can’t afford to miss Prime Day.

Savvy sellers, as well as those still trying to get in the marketplaces game, have already started planning for Prime Day 2018. So if you missed taking advantage of this year’s big event, now’s the best time to begin developing your marketplaces strategy.

Contact us to get your jump on next year’s “biggest day of the year.”