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Amazon’s U.S. Sales Nearly Tripled on Prime Day 2018, Finds New Profitero Study

August 10, 2018
Jannie Cahill
Written By
Jannie Cahill

BOSTON, 10 AUGUST 2018 Amazon reported that Prime Day 2018 was the “biggest global shopping event in its history,” with more than 100 million products sold during the 36-hour promotional event. Now, new analysis from Profitero sheds light on which categories and brands shined brightest during this year’s big event.

Analyzing eight categories in the U.S., Profitero found that Amazon’s sales nearly tripled during Prime Day, compared to average daily sales the week leading up to the event.

Not surprisingly, electronics was the clear winner with sales spiking 215% on Prime Day versus sales for an “average” day. More surprising was the lift seen in the home improvement category as sales soared 200% higher than normal.

Amazon’s growing focus and promotional efforts this Prime Day on everyday household products — such as beauty, grocery and pet — didn’t go unnoticed either. Beauty sales increased by 186% and pet sales went up by 134%, while grocery sales more than doubled (+108%) on Prime Day compared with a typical day.

Other key findings from Profitero’s analysis:

  • Amazon aims to put Alexa everywhere: Amazon’s deep discounts on its own brand electronic gadgets paid off big, further extending the reach of its voice-assistant platform. For example, sales of Amazon’s Alexa-integrated Cloud Cam shot up 1,386% (15X higher than normal) on Prime Day when it was offered at $59.99 (half off the regular price of $119.99). Another bestseller — Fire TV with 4K Ultra HD and Alexa Voice Remote — had a 306% sales lift.
  • “Do it yourself” brands build momentum: As noted, Amazon’s sales of home improvement products tripled on Prime Day. Some brands saw sales grow by 30-40X or more. The five brands that saw the biggest Prime Day boost: #1 Etekcity (+4,108%); #2 IGotTech (+3,670%); #3 Nexx (+3,096%); #4 GunVault (+2,923%) and #5 GerberGear (+2,718%).
  • Amazon’s private label push pays off: Amazon’s private label WAG dog food rocketed up the best-seller ranks in the U.S. following a 30% discount on all 5 lb. bags. An even heftier 40%-off could be had for shoppers who signed up for Subscribe & Save — a crafty way to hook customers after the trial incentive. By 2pm EDT on July 17, Amazon owned the “Amazon’s Choice” badge for dog food. These findings show just how serious Amazon is about penetrating some of the highest-velocity consumable categories.
  • Grocery focus provides food for thought: Whole Foods stores were brought into the fold this Prime Day, with Prime members receiving a $10 Amazon credit when they spent $10 at Whole Foods starting on July 11 through the end of Prime Day. Amazon also took steps to feature and promote its growing online grocery offering. As a result, the retailer’s grocery sales more than doubled that of a typical day. The five brands with the biggest sales bump during Prime Day were: #1 Izze (+808%); #2 Similac (+688%); #3 McCafe (+605%); #4 RxBar (+556%) and #5 Quaker (+337%).
  • The U.K. trumps the U.S. in some categories: Despite Prime Day’s overwhelming success, Amazon U.S. can take some cues from the U.K. to do even better next year. For example, grocery sales in the U.K. far surpassed the U.S. by a large margin (+153% U.K. vs +108% U.S). Amazon grocery shoppers were courted with a 30% off a first “subscribe & save” order and free shipping for Prime Pantry orders, giving them an added incentive to buy on Prime Day.

“‘Contrived’ online shopping events like Prime Day are proven to drive significant spikes in traffic and sales volume during times of the year that historically may not have been seasonal peaks,” said Keith Anderson, SVP of Strategy & Insights at Profitero. “Brands that sit on the sidelines run the risk of losing market share that’s hard to win back later. On top of that, they lose the opportunity to use Prime Day as a testing ground to learn what works — and doesn’t work — as we approach the all-important holiday season.”

To see the full supporting charts for this analysis, go here.

Methodology Summary

Using its proprietary sales estimation algorithm (which captures 2x to 8x more products in a category than alternative methods), Profitero analyzed sales for millions of products across 8 representative categories on in the U.S. from July 9 – July 17, 2018 and 6 categories in the U.K. “Prime Day” data depicted in this analysis reflect full two-day sales for July 16-17, the dates of the 2018 event. Only brands with at least $1 million in sales during Prime Day were considered for the brand-level analysis. When producing public research, Profitero only releases sales data in the form of percentages, but Profitero clients can see sales increases for their products and competitor products in percentages and exact dollars.

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