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Amazon Prime Day 2017: How did it differ to 2016?

By Chris Elliott

Amazon Prime Day 2017 surpassed Black Friday 2016 as the online retailer’s biggest ever shopping day. Amazon also announced that sales were 60 percent higher than Prime Day 2016. This figure was boosted by Amazon extending the sales period to 30 hours and introducing the sales event to both China and India for the first time.

 

As with previous Amazon shopping events, the top selling item was an Amazon product; this year it was the Amazon Echo Dot. However, notoriously tight-lipped Amazon did not release exact sales figures. TechCrunch quoted one “reliable source” as saying that Echo devices were selling at a rate of “thousands per minute.” This did not come as a surprise, in the UK, as on Prime Day the Echo and Echo Dot were selling for their lowest ever price.

 

Outside of the Amazon manufactured items, the UK’s best selling product was the Sony Playstation4 bundles. Amazon also revealed that 45,000 sets of headphones were purchased as well as 32,000 home improvement products.

 

The head of Amazon UK, Doug Gurr, revealed that Prime day was its “biggest day of the year so far, and by 9pm customers had already ordered more items than Prime Day last year.”

 

Prime Day Analysis
Brand View has analysed the number of deals available on the “Prime Day Deals” page on Prime Day 2017 and compared it to last year.

 

The Home, Office & Garden category surpassed Technology as the category with the greatest percentage of reviews on Prime Day. It accounted for 24.8 percent of deals in 2017, up from 16 percent in 2016. The percentage of deals that Technology accounted for fell marginally from 22 percent to 20.4 percent.

 

The Clothing, Shoes & Jewellery, Health & Beauty and Food & Drinks categories all saw a decrease in the percentage of deals compared to 2016. However, this did not necessarily mean a decrease in the total number of deals available.

 

 

Amazon noticeably increased the number of available deals – at it’s highest it was more than double the peak in 2016. The timing of the peak in available deals was also markedly different between the years with deals peaking at 6pm in 2017 compared to 7.45pm in 2016.

 

In 2017 there was a much more noticeable peak in the late morning, 11am, than in 2016 before a noticeable drop in the mid-afternoon.

 

The top four categories in 2017 had a very similar pattern in the timing of deals, whereas 2016 saw differences between categories. The number of deals in the Home, Office & Garden category plateaued between 11am and 6.45pm in 2016 as opposed to the peaks and troughs of 2017.

 

In 2016 the number of deals in the Technology and Clothing, Shoes & Jewellery grew throughout the day to 8pm in contrast to the peaks and troughs in 2017. The Entertainment category followed a similar pattern in 2016 but in 2017 the 6pm peak was significantly larger than the 11am peak – this is significantly different to the trend of the Home, Office & Garden, Technology and Clothing, Shoes & Jewellery categories.

 

The peak in the Entertainment category was earlier in 2017, 6pm, compared to 2016, 7.45pm. There were a significant number of deals on kindle books and movies and television shows via Amazon Prime Video. The earlier peak in deals appears to be Amazon targeting shoppers who have returned home from work and are considering what to watch or read that evening.

 

 

Analysts have estimated that Prime Day 2017 may have added more than $500 billion in incremental sales. This year Amazon gave out $1 billion in smalls loans to marketplace sellers compared to $1.5 billion between 2011 and 2015. This encouragement by Amazon paid off this Prime Day as marketplace sellers sold twice as many items as they did on Prime Day 2016.

 

In spite of this increase in marketplace sellers, Amazon seemed to be more consistent in its deals in 2017 as the major product categories saw a similar trend in peaks and troughs in the number of deals.

 

The prime objective of Amazon Prime Day is to drive up the total number of Prime Members as they spend significantly more than non-members. Prime Day 2017 was a success in this regard, with Amazon reporting that more people signed up to Amazon Prime than on any previous day.

*We were unable to collect complete deal information for the first six hours of Prime Day, 18:00 – 00:00 on 10 July.

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