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Prime Day 2018: Deep dive analysis

By Irene Bodega


On both Prime Day 2017 and 2016, Amazon broke its past sales records and Prime Day 2018 was no less of a success. During the 36 hour event, Amazon recorded unprecedented sales, with more than a 100 million products purchased worldwide. The retailer also revealed that they attracted the highest number of new Prime Members ever in a single day (16 July)

As with previous years, the best selling item worldwide was an Amazon product; this year the Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote and Echo Dot took pole position. The most purchased items in the UK, excluding Amazon products, were the Bosch Cordless Drill, Philips Hue Personal Wireless Lighting Light Strip and Finish Dishwasher Tablets (Amazon, 2018).

Prime Day 2018 was also a big success for small and medium businesses who, as reported by Amazon, “far exceeded $1 billion in sales” during the event.


Prime Day Analysis

Brand View has analysed the number of deals available on the “Prime Day Deals” page during Prime Day 2018 and compared it to that of 2017 and 2016.

While shoppers were already able to access some promotions before the official start of the event, the number of deals featured on the page consistently increased between 12.15pm and 6pm; 16 July’s peak time with 4602 deals. On 17 July, after flat early hours, the number of deals rapidly increased between 6am and 12pm, dropping off slightly around midday and and steadily increasing again to reach its peak at 5.45pm (5380 deals).


When comparing it to the previous events, Prime Day 2018 offered more deals than ever before, with a maximum of 5380 active promotions at 5.45pm on 17 July. This was around double, and more than triple, the number of deals available at the peak times in 2017 (3550 deals at 6pm) and in 2016 (1599 deals at 7.45pm) respectively.

Although the peak time in 2018 (5.45pm) occurred slightly earlier than in 2017 (6pm), the second biggest peak time on 17 July was at 12pm, around an hour later compared to last year.

Differently from previous years, the number of deals on Entertainment did not vary in accordance with other categories, despite peaking at the same time. In particular, the number of deals did not drop as sharply after 6pm on 16 July and it remained at a stable level after midnight, with more deals than in the Clothing, Shoes & Jewellery category. The majority of these deals were on downloadable video games and digital magazines, with Amazon potentially looking to target passive video gamers and people looking for a lighter read at that time of the night.

Although the overall share of deals in the Clothing, Shoes and Jewellery category only increased by one percent from 2017, at 2018’s peak time (5.45pm 17 July) there were 801 active deals; more than in the last two years combined. Earlier in the day, however, the number of deals in the category was significantly lower, with more deals offered in 2017 up until 11am.


Overall, deals on Technology were the most popular this year, accounting for 27.2 percent of all promotions on 17 July, up from 20.2 in 2017. Although there were less deals than on 16 July (1350), between 5.45 and 6pm, 2018’s peak time counted more than double the deals on Technology than 2017.

Home, Office & Garden closely followed Technology, accounting for 25.3 percent of all deals, up by 0.5 percent from 2017. Despite Technology largely surpassing all other categories on 16 July, there were more active deals in the Home, Office & Garden category on 17 July. This year, however, the difference in the number of deals between Technology and Home, Office & Garden was significantly narrower than 2017, where more deals were consistently offered on the latter


Once again, Amazon Prime Day proved to be a real success, offering more deals than ever before and attracting the highest number of new Prime members than on any previous day.

This year, deals on Technology were significantly more popular compared to both 2017 and 2016, at the expense of all other categories but Home, Office & Garden and Clothing, Shoes & Jewellery, which saw a marginal growth. With a significant number of deals available for shoppers on 16 July, there is little doubt that the 6 extra hours added to the event have helped Amazon break its 2017’s sales record.

Since its first edition in 2015, Amazon Prime Day has expanded from nine to 15 countries and increased its duration from 24 to 36 hours, with over a million products being discounted worldwide in 2018.

It will be interesting to see if Black Friday mirrors a similar Technology-focused stance and if so, if Amazon can discount their own products even further. With both Prime Day and Black Friday continuing to break records year-on-year, we could be in store for a very big Black Friday – sign up to the Brand View newsletter to receive our exclusive real-time Black Friday coverage.

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Brand View is the leading global provider of price, promotion, product content and online product positioning analytics.