Retail Insights: Behind the Scenes During Amazon Prime Day

Behind the Scenes During Amazon Prime Day

Great news – you’ve seen it through to the other side of Amazon Prime Day! Hopefully you had a booming increase in sales and have convinced some of those customers to become loyal shoppers with you.

Here at Brightpearl, we’re fortunate enough to work with over 1,200 SME retailers from various verticals; which means now that those busy 30 hours are behind us, we can take a look back on the key findings for how retailers performed this year, compared with 2016.

How did Amazon Prime Day perform in 2017 vs 2016?

The main takeaway from this year is a positive increase in performance nearly the whole way across the board, including in order volume and gross merchandise value (GMV).

One thing we need to consider first is that this may have been due to 2017’s Prime Day being 30 hours long versus the 24 hour period we saw last year.

But before we get too ahead of ourselves, let’s take a look at just how much Amazon Prime Day in 2017 outperformed the 2016 version:

  • Order volume across all sales channels increased by 37% from 51,727 to 70,946 orders created
  • Order volume across Amazon increased by 33% from 23,033 to 30,617 orders created
  • Average order volume per hour increased by 10% from $2,155 to $2,365
  • GMV increased by 7% from $948,117 to $1,011,262

Looking at this list, it’s evident that retailers saw some really positive uptake during this year’s Prime Day versus last year. However, there was one key part of this year’s sales that did not see an increase – that of average order value.

The average order value across the entire day dropped in 2017 from $41 to $33 – a difference of 20%. We’ll discuss the reasons why that might have been very shortly. But first…

Battle of the sales channels: who outperformed who?

As can be expected, both years saw Amazon bring home the most amount of sales during Prime Day than all other sales channels put together.

We saw a staggering 30,617 sales orders taken via Amazon during this year’s Prime Day, versus 28,122 sales across all other channels combined.

When looking to Amazon Prime Day in 2016, last year wasn’t too far behind 2017 with a still impressive 23,033 orders taken via Amazon, versus 19,852 sales via all other channels combined.

When were more customers enticed to spend?

There is one last key difference between Amazon Prime Day in 2017 and 2016, which is an interesting one. The highest peak in orders were at very different times:

  • Amazon Prime Day last year saw the highest peak order volume at 3pm on Saturday July 15th. This peak was 628 orders between 3 – 4pm.
  • Whereas Amazon Prime Day in 2017 saw the highest peak order volume occur at 8pm on Sunday July 10th. This hour saw 1,047 orders created – a 40% increase from last year’s highest peak hour.

So, what could have caused this difference in timing?

With this year’s Amazon Prime Day lasting 6 hours longer than last year, customers had more opportunity to browse now, and buy later. With a longer flash sale, the sense of urgency, although not evaporated completely, was diminished slightly.

Maybe customers browsed earlier in the day, and then chose to actually buy their favorite items whilst winding down for the evening? What do you think – could that be a possible cause?

Why did average order values decrease during Amazon Prime Day 2017?

Although more customers are being enticed to spend during the Prime Day sales, they are choosing to spend less individually, resulting in a 20% drop in average order value in 2017, compared with 2016.

There are a variety of reasons why this change may have occurred, including:

  • After seeing the success of previous years, it’s possible that more retailers are choosing to get involved with Prime Day. If customers have a larger pool of retailers to buy from, perhaps they spend more overall, but less with individual retailers?
  • As competition heats up, retailers may be choosing to discount their products more so than in previous years, meaning more customers are attracted to the sales, but end up spending less with each individual retailer.
  • With the threat of a ticking clock, it’s also possible that customers are buying products quickly (certainly before all the good stock has run out), and so spend less time browsing. Take a look at your orders from the day: have you seen customers placing more than one order with you?
  • With consumers being much more tech savvy these days, they may be more clued up on product prices than before due to shopping around before buying. Marketplaces like eBay and Amazon have always been great places for consumers to find budget items, but maybe shoppers no longer see the utmost importance in sales like Amazon Prime Day? Particularly when eBay displays banners on their own website containing the words: “Their Prime Deal Is Our Everyday Deal.” Just a little something to think about…

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading up on how retailers performed during Amazon Prime Day this year versus 2016, although we hope we haven’t bamboozled you with too many stats!

Did you expect these findings? Or did some of them surprise you? Please feel free to start a discussion in the comments section below…