Prime Day Breaks Another Record
Amazon sold more than 175 million items during its fifth-annual Prime Day sales event running July 15 and 16.
Once again breaking records to become the largest shopping event in Amazon history, this year’s Prime Day sales surpassed the retailer's 2018 Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales combined, the company said.
The retailer also boosted loyalty during the event, which requires a Prime membership, indicating that July 15 and 16 were the two biggest days ever for member sign-ups.
Prime Day events staged in conjunction with the sale contributed to the perceived value of membership. These included a live-streamed concert presented by Amazon Music and headlined by artist Taylor Swift as well as the Twitch Prime Crown Cup with FIFA 19 and Apex Legends.
Amazon also rolled out the red carpet for entertainer Lady Gaga and her Haus Laboratories line of beauty products, which became available for pre-order exclusively via the retailer during the sales event. The line will launch in September with Amazon as the exclusive retail outlet.
Additional deals on products founded by celebrities including Kristen Bell, Kobe Bryant, Zac Brown, Will and Jaden Smith, Mark Wahlberg and Marshmello rounded out the celebrity factor. A dedicated landing page corralled all the star-powered products while many of the individual brand pages included custom videos starring the celebrities.
Discounts were also extended to Prime members at Whole Foods Market — which dangled $10 in Amazon credit with $10 purchases — Amazon Books and the Amazon Treasure Truck, and were additionally available for Amazon digital services such as Twitch, Amazon Music Unlimited, Prime Video, Amazon Photos, Prime Book Box, Kindle Unlimited, Prime Pantry and AmazonFresh.
Shoppers using the Amazon mobile application had access to additional discounts — such as $10, $22 and $60 in Amazon credit with purchases of $100, $200 and $500, respectively, on July 16 — and were able to set “Watch a Deal” alerts. The retailer also incentivized using voice by offering access to early deals on July 14 via Alexa-enabled devices.
A volley of marketing support included display ads on amazon.com and external sites such as cnn.com, messaging on Amazon packages, radio and TV spots, mobile application pop-up messages, member emails and even QVC-like "Twitch Sells Out" live-broadcast sales via the game oriented video-streaming platform.
However, reports indicated that while Amazon waived placement fees for inclusion in deal events, certain grocery brands offering products at a loss during Prime Day would instead be required to pay “additional funding” to cover Amazon’s shipping and storage costs.
“This year we’ve decided not to charge placement fees for inclusion in deal events but instead we request our vendors to fund a [listing] if it’s unprofitable for the duration of the deal,” the company said in an email to vendors cited by news outlets.
Amazon reportedly also asked some brands to double ad spend for Prime Day.
“One of our CPG clients was asked recently by Amazon to increase its budget by a minimum of 100% to ensure that it did not lose market share during this key sales period. In the case of this client, its products are not natural deals for Prime Day so taking part would only reduce their overall margin,” Debbie Ellison, chief digital officer at marketing agency Geometry U.K., told CNBC." Geometry advised the client not to increase its ad spend for the shopping event.
Meanwhile, Amazon rivals were organizing their own competing sales events and marketing messages to leverage the boost in traffic they reportedly received thanks to Prime Day's halo effect. Path to Purchase Institute members can see the details on P2PI.org.