There is plenty of information about the numbers, but the buying behavior during Amazon’s Prime Day event may tell an important story for what lies ahead. Digital Commerce 360 and Bizrate Insights surveyed 1,008 online shoppers immediately after Prime Day to discern shopper behavior and subsequent implications.
69% were already Prime members prior to Prime Days or joined just before or on the day of the event. This was an audience primed to spend, and they did.
57% of surveyed online shoppers had at least some interest in Amazon Prime Days. While online shopper awareness is high, it is important to note that 26% had no interest or were not planning on making purchases, with 4% of this group believing it was just another holiday.
Amazon is No. 3 in Digital Commerce 360’s new 2023 Global Online Marketplaces Report. The Global Online Marketplaces database ranks the 100 largest such marketplaces by 2023 third-party GMV.
Amazon is also No. 1 in the 2022 Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000 database. The Top 1000 ranks North American web merchants by sales.
46% of online shoppers made purchases during the Amazon Prime Day event. Among our small sample of coworker shoppers, several just weren’t interested and one shared that she did not purchase anything for the first time in a long time due to cost-cutting measures. That said, we do not miss it!”
81% of Prime Day buyers spent up to $250 where 47% spent $100 or less and 53% spent more than $100.
Apparel, home, beauty and consumer electronics topped the list of categories purchased
I reached out to my coworkers to see what they purchased, and it followed similar buying patterns. On the consumer electronics front, one ended up getting a TV from Amazon because it was a better deal and came with a buy-now-pay-later option. A Samsung Galaxy S21 Smartphone was in one order, and headphones were popular among this group as was a Blu-ray player.
Home products were high on the list for our shoppers. Everything from a coffee machine to an outdoor bar cart and organization products made the cut. Both dorm stuff (bedding, pillows, wall art, etc.) and supplies were timely purchases. One woman said she’d buy them either way but was happy to have saved about $20.
Apparel-wise, these individuals took advantage of sales on jogging shorts, water shoes, swim trunks and sandals. Beauty products also saw some activity, including Liquid IV and Laneige lip mask.
Appliances from a Conair clothing steamer to a Bissell portable carpet and upholstery cleaner and vacuums also found their way to Amazon carts. Pet beds and supplies also made their way to Amazon’s coffers.
Almost half of Amazon buyers surveyed spent more during 2023 Amazon Prime Days vs. 2022
37% of surveyed buyers made purchases beyond Amazon. Shoppers looked to other retailers, though the numbers were somewhat limited when it came to purchasing from other retailers.
Mass merchants and a range of specialty retailers benefit from Prime Day sales
Walmart was the other primary beneficiary of Prime Day sales among 17% of survey respondents. Meanwhile, Target saw activity among 9% of participants. The remaining retailers saw 4% activity or less, leading me to believe that Amazon remains the focus among shoppers. Our shoppers were in step with these findings. They also made purchases at Duluth Trading and Home Goods.
1 in 5 online shoppers were aware of Prime Day advertising, spent time evaluating purchases and comparison shopped with other retailers
Advertising was hard to miss if you were online. I certainly saw television advertising when watching evening sports. There is a smaller group of shoppers who are prepared, do advance work in scouting deals and have carts ready, hoping to find strong deals when the event arrives.
Personal consumption is in play
Shopper behavior of interest includes the fact that 27% of online shoppers made a personal purchase on Prime Days. Mobile devices were a factor for 18% and purchasing on mobile apps for 15% of survey respondents. As noted above, Prime Day buyers are on a mission. 16% search for particular brands to see if they offered deals, and 8% actually tried new brands.
Online shoppers dole out mixed reviews of Prime Day 2023
Only 29% felt that Amazon Prime Days met their experiences. In fact, 19% of respondents were disappointed with the offering. Meanwhile, 16% felt it was a more limited product offering this year. Prices seemed higher to 9% of respondents.
Prices were likely a factor in the overall satisfaction. Several of my coworkers signed up for an invite-only deal on a TV but didn’t get picked. Our shoppers weighed in here. One said she seemed to save about 15%-20% on the items purchased.
“I searched for swim trunks just to see and found them to be 40% off, a happy surprise.” Her comparison shopping was worthwhile as Target school supply prices were much cheaper for folders, notebooks, pens and glue.
Finding something greater than the 20% mark was significant.
“I bought the Bluetooth ear buds because they were on sale and for my 12 year old, and he will likely lose them. And they were about 35% off, so it was worth it.”
“In general, the deals on the kind of laptop I wanted were just OK. For a really basic laptop, they looked good. But I wanted 16 GB of RAM as opposed to the more standard 8 GB. I probably got about $50 off on the Lenovo laptop I bought on Amazon for $515.”
Stock was seen as an issue
One shopper had some challenges, sharing that they couldn’t get through checkout with the TV they wanted.
“By the time I checked if it was new/used, would ship in time, etc., it was out of stock from that seller. I did this around 9 p.m. on July 11.”
Another tried buying a laptop on Lenovo, but its site showed zero results for laptops Tuesday morning, likely a peak period.
“An agent I chatted with said she had reported the glitch. The site was up and running again in about an hour, but that’s a sign that retailers unaccustomed to huge traffic surges may have struggled to meet Prime Days demand.”
Shoppers know their prices
“I’ve had my eye on this car seat mirror for a while.,” said one coworker. It’s typically $20. It was marketed as a “Prime Day Deal” for $18.95, but Amazon said it was originally $45.95 or so, something crazy high so they can show this deep percentage-off discount. I already have this mirror and bought two for my sister last year on Black Friday. It has never been $45, and I’ve gotten it on Black Friday for $14. The marketing is a total scam, but the price has not dropped in the two months I’ve been looking to buy it. I figured I might as well save a dollar.”
Another buyer chimed in, “I actually bought an outdoor cart at Home Goods, got it home and the size did not work. So I checked Amazon, and there was a better version and 18% off for Prime Day! It got a lot of good reviews, so I am hopeful!”
Shipping speeds astound shopper
On a positive note, shipping speed was reported as unbelievable.
“I placed the order at 4 p.m. on July 11 and it was at my door the following morning (July 12) at 4:30 a.m.
As we look ahead, shoppers appear to be taking a “business as usual” stance. 72% of online shoppers anticipate buying about the same for the upcoming holidays. Only 7% suggest they will purchase more. One in five expect to buy less during the upcoming holiday season.
A look at potential changes in Prime member status finds that 71% of respondents are likely to retain their Prime membership status in the coming year. With 17% saying they are unlikely to do so and 12% unsure, Amazon will need to continue to give shoppers reasons to be part of their program, as a lack of interest may be imminent for some members.
There is some speculation that July’s Prime Day program was the first of two. When asked about spending if Amazon has a second Prime Day event in 2023, 27% of online shoppers said they don’t know what they will spend. 30% know it will depend on prices on promoted products. Another 18% will buy nothing further or less than the initial event. Just 10% indicate they will spend more while the remaining 15% will spend about the same.
I will be interested to see if Amazon has a second Prime Day. I would have to believe it’s likely on the horizon as these sales generate big numbers. They seem to have a formula so there is little reason not to push the button with vendors, shoppers and sellers alike. I will be watching as it feels like this may just be a tempered holiday season with shoppers sitting on the sidelines. And all the more reason to secure some of these early sales.
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