Amazon Prime Day can now officially claim itself as the “Summer Black Friday” when Amazon announced it sold 175 million items during the two-day Prime Day event and surpassed its combined sales total from Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2018.
The silver lining for Amazon rivals is Prime Day gives all retailers and brands cover to offer deep summer discounts, close out inventory and boost mid-year sales before the holiday selling season. And, that’s precisely what retailers and brands did. According to our own data, digital commerce sites provided bigger discounts on more products in their catalog than any Prime Day prior.
According to Episerver data, retailers and brands increased the number of products in their catalog on sale during Prime Day 2019 by 91 percent compared to Prime Day 2018 (38 percent in 2019 vs. 20 percent in 2018). This suggests that merchants are trying to ride the coattails of Prime Day instead of trying to create a counter-option to Prime Day. This can be a good opportunity for retailers and brands to offer some good mid-year deals, closeout inventory before the holidays and reward their best customers.
Retailers and brands also dug deeper on discounts they were offering by more than doubling the average discount off the total carts completed during Prime Day 2019. The combination means retailers put more products on sale and increased the discounts they were willing to offer consumers to lure them away from Amazon Prime Day deals.
Specific retailers also picked at Amazon’s base, namely eBay and Walmart. eBay took the biggest direct shot at Amazon with “Crash Sale” message on Prime Day promoting great deals on Ebay.com on July 15 when Prime Day was at its peak. This is playing on recent years where Amazon’s site has either crashed or operated slowly due to massive numbers of shoppers hitting the site all at once. Retail rival Walmart also teamed up with Amazon’s smart device rival, Google with discounts on products like the Nest smarthome devices and the rarely discounted Google Home Max.
So, while Amazon continues to smash records and capitalize on its loyal customer base, retailers are either forced to ride coat tails or put their tail between their legs. Most are choosing the former by offering deeper discounts on more products to capture some of the consumer spending frenzy celebrated and encouraged by their biggest rival.
For more insights into B2C retail and brand benchmarks, download Episerver's 2019 B2C Dot-Com report.