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Unboxing Prime Day 2019

Last month, Amazon held its fifth annual Prime Day event to honor its Prime members with steep discounts and deals across a range of products and categories. This year’s midsummer shopping event—extended to 48 hours and held on July 15 and 16—racked up record sales, further cementing Amazon’s ecommerce leadership position, while creating incremental opportunities for sellers and competing retailers.

In our latest report, “The Amazon Prime Day 2019 Halo Effect,” we look at post-event results and analyze how the shopping holiday fared.

Prime Day Sales

Various industry estimates put Prime Day spending on Amazon at $6 billion to $7 billion during the two-day event, along with strong growth rates compared with last year. Amazon noted that Prime Day surpassed its combined results from Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2018.

Market intelligence firm IgnitionOne pegged the total at $6.2 billion, outpacing its pre-event forecast of $6.1 billion. Meanwhile, Baird analyst Colin Sebastian estimated Prime Day sales at around $6 billion, with 25% higher spending per hour than the previous year.

Internet Retailer had the highest post-event Prime Day estimate of $7.16 billion in sales, up 71% from its 2018 estimate of $4.19 billion. Even when accounting for the additional 12 hours of the event (making it 33% longer than the previous year), sales per hour were 28% higher than in 2018.

That aligns fairly well with Edison Trends’ estimate—2019 sales per hour were about 35% higher than in 2018. This year’s increase in sales volume represented a sizable jump from last year’s gain of about 13% vs. 2017.

What Drove the Sales Growth?

“While it was likely a combination of factors, the explanation begins with the overall level of deals and discounts,” said Andrew Lipsman, eMarketer principal analyst and author of “The Amazon Prime Day 2019 Halo Effect” report.

An analysis by marketing intelligence firm Numerator showed heavy discounts across major product categories—ranging from 26% in electronics to 35% in appliances.

Browse One Item, Add Five to Cart

Prime Day shoppers didn’t just browse on Amazon, they converted. According to an Internet Retailer survey, 69% of Prime Day purchasers bought more than one item, and 16% bought five or more items.

eMarketer’s Prime Day Flash Survey, conducted by Bizrate Insights, found that 35% of Prime Day shoppers were impulse purchasers, buying something they hadn’t planned to buy, while 22% bought a gift for somebody else, and 12% bought something they had been saving up for.

The survey from Numerator indicates that Prime Day shoppers in the US were most likely to purchase consumer electronics (31.1%), followed by household essentials (21.6%) and apparel/shoes (21.0%).