Amazon’s Prime Day 2023 shattered all previous records. Buy now, pay later; sharper shopper engagement with Inspire [Amazon’s answer to Tik Tok]; a first-time partnership with travel company Priceline, and hyper personalisation all played major roles. How can brands and retailers accelerate growth with this retail giant as Amazon continues to transform for the future?

Amazon Prime Day took place in mid-July in most markets (apart from India, where it ran July 15-16). The event is essentially a “Black Friday in July” online sale event, run exclusively for Amazon Prime members.

It’s important because of Amazon’s size and influence – the world’s second biggest retailer (behind Walmart) has effectively created a new marker in the annual shopping calendar. And for Amazon itself, the event generates a significant sales spike, provides proof of value for existing Prime Members, and critically drives member acquisition.

Prime Day saw flat to marginal sales increases in mature Amazon markets (when inflation is taken into account the UK was even in reverse), and were significantly higher in newer and emerging markets. Nevertheless, Day 1 of Prime Day was the biggest sales day ever for Amazon in many regions – including the US, Brazil and Australia.

VMLY&R Commerce was there to track the results as Prime Day happened – and this document provides key stats, takeaways and trends. Note: the data is primarily from the US unless otherwise stated.

Who Shopped Prime Day? (US)

The typical profile of an Amazon Prime Day shopper is a suburban, female, higher income, Millennial Amazon Prime Member. But particularly in a market like the US, shopping Prime Day crosses socio-economic groups and generations.

How did they find out about Prime Day deals? (US)

While mainstream media still played a role in promoting Prime Day, there was a big growth in social, influencer and celebrity marketing. TikTok views of Prime Day hashtags soared, and Amazon showcased influencers on their new in-app platform “Inspire”, which featured product demos and links to purchase. Celebrity endorsements also featured strongly. Tiktok has effectively become a trusted source of information and in a hugely competitive space empowers brands that offer a true sense of “value” to stand out on the shelf and cut through.

How did other retailers react? (US)

Major retailers jumped on the bandwagon around Prime Day – for example, Walmart (Walmart+ Week), Target (Circle Week) and Best Buy (Black Friday in July). Walmart & Target were aiming to drive their own membership subscription in a space where Amazon has a 53.1% share of all retail subscription models. (Source: Insider Intelligence)

Hungry for value, 54% of all shoppers said they’d compare prices with other retailers with 34% checking Target and 33% checking Walmart. (Source: Numerator)

However, in total sales were down -10% Y.o.Y outside of Amazon driven by substantially less promo activity (-7.4% Y.o.Y) (Digital Commerce 360) and depth (-17% Y.o.Y. (Source: Salesforce)

Shoppers were happy with Amazon deals (66% either extremely or very happy with the offerings) and it seems more retailers went early this year to get ahead of Prime Day. (Source: Numerator)

4 Prime Observations:

  1. Affordability Rules
  2. Inspiration as well as Information
  3. Amazon gets (even more) Personal
  4. New Prime Partners

4 Prime Opportunities:

  1. Amazon Plus
  2. Embrace Creative Commerce
  3. The Real Deal
  4. Think Relational not Transactional – the role of Subscribe & Save

Find out more on VMLY&R Commerce.