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US sales on Prime Day break $11 billion, Adobe Analytics data shows

The news: Total US ecommerce sales on Prime Day surpassed $11 billion, growing 6.1% compared with last year’s event, according to data from the Adobe Digital Economy Index provided to Insider Intelligence. Amazon’s US ecommerce sales are projected to have hit $7.31 billion in the US, per eMarketer forecasts from Insider Intelligence.

  • This year’s Prime Day—which took place earlier than previous years—saw customers purchase more than 250 million items worldwide, according to the etailer.
  • Like last year, smaller merchants (businesses with less than $10 million in annual online revenues) achieved impressive sales growth, with spend climbing 21% year over year (YoY), per Adobe Analytics.
  • Overall, US online revenue on Prime Day spiked 143% compared with an average June day.

How we got here: Last year, Amazon delayed its July Prime Day until October because of COVID-19. Despite the delay, the etailer still scored $6.17 billion in US sales, per our forecasts. This year, Amazon pushed Prime Day earlier, with CFO Brian Olsavsky saying on the company’s Q1 earnings call that it moved the event to account for the 2021 Olympics—and the fact that July is a popular vacation month. There are also rumors that Amazon is considering launching a sales event this fall—although it's unclear whether it’ll be marketed as another Prime Day. If so, Amazon will likely pull in even more sales from holiday shopping.

The bigger picture: Amazon closed another successful Prime Day despite competing efforts from other retailers and looming unionization endeavors.

  • Coinciding sales events: As in previous years, competitors like Walmart and Target held their own sales events during Prime Day to grab a piece of Amazon’s sales. But considering Amazon’s leadership position in the ecommerce space, as well as the fact that Prime Day came first, these competitive moves likely didn’t significantly affect its results.
  • Revival of union efforts: The International Brotherhood of Teamsters—one of the US’s largest labor unions—voted to formalize a resolution to ramp up unionization efforts for Amazon warehouse workers and drivers. This comes shortly after a failed Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union vote in Alabama. However, the revival of these efforts—especially so soon after Prime Day, when workers strain to keep up with demand—might add new pressure on Amazon. A successful campaign might force Amazon to implement new rules, like increased pay and improved healthcare benefits, that could raise expenses and lower profits.