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Prime Day 2021 Recap: Tempered growth and changes in shopping behavior show signs of the event’s maturity

It’s been six years since Amazon’s inaugural Prime Day, and since then, the sales bonanza has evolved from the unofficial kickoff of back-to-school shopping into an event other major retailers try to emulate—so much so that the ecommerce giant has tried to obfuscate when the annual sales day will occur.

While sales growth slowed down this year, Prime Day’s shifting dates and context make it difficult to draw year-over-year (YoY) comparisons. There are signs, however, the event is reaching maturity and some consumers may be less inclined to make big-ticket purchases.


Comparative growth estimates for Amazon’s Prime Day sales worldwide this year ranged from 7% to 9%:

  • Morgan Stanley estimated Amazon’s sales worldwide reached $6.8 billion, up 9% from Prime Day 2020.
  • Bank of America estimated Amazon’s sales worldwide reached $9.55 billion, up 7% from Prime Day 2020.
  • Digital Commerce 360 estimated Amazon’s sales worldwide reached $11.19 billion, up 7.6% from Prime Day 2020.

Order sizes were slightly smaller compared with previous years. The average US Prime Day order was $52.33 in 2021, according to consumer insights platform Numerator, compared with $54.34 in 2020 and $58.77 in 2019.