Amazon Prime Day Recap: 3 Key Takeaways for small merchants

[fa icon="calendar"] Jul 17, 2017 3:27:04 PM / by Warren Sukernek

Amazon Prime Day 2017 Recap - Amazon's Best Sales Day ever!  Amazon's sales exceeded both Black Friday and Cyber Monday, can you believe it?  And the best selling product, the heavily discounted $35 Amazon Echo Dot.  In a recent Amazon press release, the company stated that the Prime Day event grew by 60%!  A recent Hitwise study found that Prime Day 2017 yielded 9.5 million transactions on, the biggest day of the year and topping Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The number was almost double the 5.1 million transactions Hitwise measured on the first Prime Day in 2015. EMarketer wrote a great analysis, not to be missed.  Here are a few other stats that you may not have seen.

Global Highlights from Prime Day 2017PrimeRecap_thumb.jpg

  • A record number of Prime members shopped across 13 countries.
  • Prime members purchased seven times more Amazon Echo devices globally than on Prime Day 2016.
  • Members saved hundreds of millions of dollars on product discounts globally, compared to the already low prices offered to non-Prime customers.
  • More than 3.5 million toys were purchased by customers worldwide on Prime Day 2017.
  • Tens of millions of customers used the Amazon App on Prime Day. Customer orders on the Amazon App more than doubled this Prime Day compared to last year.

U.S. Highlights from Prime Day 2017

  • Members found deals organized by more than 20 of the most-shopped-for themes – from Pet Lovers to Gardeners and more. The most popular themes on Prime Day were Home Chefs, Techies and For the Home.
  • Prime members purchased more than 50,000 TP-Link Smart Plugs.
  • The fastest Prime Now deliveries on Prime Day were in Sunnyvale and Berkeley, California and Kirkland, Washington to members who ordered snacks, writeable DVD packs and a Samsung Internal SSD. The orders were each delivered in 12 minutes.
  • More than 200,000 women’s dresses and more than 200,000 lightbulbs were purchased by customers on Prime Day 2017.
  • More than 100,000 items from Amazon Launchpad startups including the Anova Culinary Bluetooth Sous Vide Precision Cooker, Soylent Coffiest Meal Replacement Drink, Skybell Wi-Fi Video Doorbells and LIFX Wi-Fi Smart LED Light Bulb were orders by customers by on Prime Day 2017

Closer to home, here are 3 key takeaways for all merchants, large and small.

1. Back to School

Winning more of the back-to-school business, the second-largest US selling period after the critical holiday sales, certainly appeared to be on Amazon’s mind: Market Track data showed 22% of Prime Day deals were on back-to-school related categories. The back to school season is very long, when you have kids in college. Thus, the season extends from July until October.  A key takeaway for all merchants is to have your back to school merchandise ready in July and try to refresh the assortment after Labor Day.

2. Prime Day had fewer fails.

You may have seen customers using the hashtag, #PrimeDayFail on social media, but for the most part, Amazon had fewer glitches.  That's because Amazon focused on executional excellence and strategized to make the shopping experience easier for consumers to navigate this year.  They planned and tested all facets to create a seemless user experience.  The key takeaway here for small merchants is to test your bottlenecks and chokepoints before the big game to make sure you're ready.  We've talked about holiday capacity before, but ironing things out before the big game is essential.

I need more capacity!

3. Targeted deals grew, but grocery lagged.

On Prime Day, Amazon was very strategic in its selection of products and categories to feature, and grouped them by “most-shopped themes,” such as items for pet lovers, gardeners and kids. They didn't shy from promotion, having sent out close to 700M emails during the 30 hour campaign.  So the key takeaway here is build out a strategic holiday merchandising plan focused on your top categories and make sure to incorporate a strong email and other promotional strategy.  

As we can see from the examples above, Amazon was super strategic about Prime Day 2017 and planned every aspect of its execution.  A lesson that all merchants, large and small, can follow.



Topics: Advice, Ecommerce