Despite a brief existence, Amazon Prime Day has made a tremendous impact since its inception.
Welcome to Prime Day season!
Ten years ago, Amazon Prime Day didn’t exist. Now, it’s one of the premier shopping days on the calendar. Bringing in billions of dollars, Amazon’s signature shopping holiday has been a wildly successful creation.
Much like Black Friday, Prime Day currently makes up an entire month and stretches beyond the confines of Amazon. Deals across industries pop up in the weeks leading up to Prime Day, hoping to cash in on customers looking for steals.
The success of Prime Day has mirrored Amazon’s own success, with a rapid rise that only continues to climb. With a seemingly endless potential on the horizon, let’s take a look at Prime Day over the years.
Since the first-ever Prime Day in 2015, the amount of Prime Subscribers has more than tripled. An increase in subscribers means an increase in Prime Day participants, which leads to even more sales that can benefit more sellers!
An instant success, Prime Day has grown exponentially since its inception.
In just a few years, Amazon has turned a special event to celebrate a landmark anniversary into one of the most preeminent shopping days in the world.
To celebrate its arrival, it’s worth looking at how the eCommerce mega-event has evolved since its inception.
Prime Day 2015
The first-ever Amazon Prime Day touted more deals than Black Friday.
The first-ever Prime Day took place on July 15, 2015, to commemorate 20 years since Amazon.com went live and 10 years of Prime. Lasting 24 hours, the first-ever Prime Day features participation from 9 countries, including the U.S., UK, Spain, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, Canada, and Austria.
Sales outpaced the previous Black Friday, which was the biggest Black Friday to date. Customers purchased hundreds of thousands of Amazon devices, furthering their reach with items such as the Echo, Kindle, and Fire TV Stick. For many, this sales event introduced Amazon Alexa, a voice-activated virtual assistant AI, into households worldwide.
Amazon sellers who utilized Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) experienced an unprecedented amount of sales, as unit sales grew nearly 300% worldwide.
Prime Day 2016
After an astonishingly successful debut, the hype over the sales spectacle only grew for its sequel. The original 9 countries participated yet again and added Belgium to its reach.
Despite some users reporting checkout issues, likely a result of the massive influx of consumer traffic and consumers checking out at such a rampant rate, Prime Day 2016 was a success of epic proportions.
Over the course of the record-setting sales day…
- over 2 million toys were purchased
- more than 1 million pairs of shoes were bought
- 200,000+ headphones were sold on the platform
After selling 24,000 Instant Pot pressure cookers in 2015, that number ballooned to 215,000 in the same 24-hour span. Prime subscribers purchased an average of one Alexa-exclusive deal per second.
Prime Day 2017
How do you follow up on the sensation of the first two Prime Days? You expand it from 24 hours to 30 hours. All the while running one-day sales specials across Amazon categories in the five days before Prime Day officially began on July 11th.
Did the extended length put a damper on the excitement? Of course not!
More new Prime members joined on Prime Day 2017 than any single day in Amazon history to this point. This statistic highlights the mutually beneficial brilliance of Prime Day, as it rewards its customers while simultaneously promoting the Prime service.
Partially thanks to the record-setting sales event, the Prime subscriber base grew to the 100 million milestone in 2017.
In 2017, the number of countries participating in the Prime Day grew, with Mexico and China joining the fun. Orders on the Amazon app more than doubled the 2016’s mobile orders, marking a turning point in how customers shop.
Prime Day 2018
After Prime Day 2017 proved the sales event didn’t need to be confined to just one day, it was expanded to 36 hours and was the most extensive global shopping day and a half in Amazon history.
Small and medium-sized Amazon businesses exceed $1.5 billion in sales. After acquiring Whole Foods in the previous year, Amazon included the grocery store with Prime deals for the first time ever.
Continuing to innovate, Prime Day 2018 saw the debut of Prime Day Launches for new product launches and Unboxing Prime Day events in select cities. Unboxing Prime Day saw local celebrations in certain cities, with special entertainment. The Unboxing event in New York saw a live concert headlined by Ariana Grande.
However, expanding to grocery stores and holding concerts by pop superstars didn’t come at the expense of Prime Day’s signature lightning deals and mega markdowns.
Customers purchased more than five million items in each of the following categories: Toys, Beauty, PCs and Computer Accessories, Apparel and Kitchen products. Prime members purchased over 300,000 Instant Pot 7-in-1 pressure cookers in the 36 hours.
Prime Day 2019
Amazon Music got in on the Prime Day celebration with a concert from music superstar Taylor Swift.
For the first time ever, Prime Day became a full two-day event, lasting 48 hours on July 15th and 16th. The list of participating countries doubled from the original 9, with 18 unique countries included.
Sales exceeded the previous Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. Over 175 million items were purchased and Amazon devices such as the Echo Dot, Fire TV Stick, and Fire TV Stick 4K saw top-selling deals.
The 48-hour event was even headlined by 10-time Grammy award winning superstar Taylor Swift.
An estimated $7.16 billion worth of goods were sold on Prime Day 2019.
The massive amount of goods sold shows just how far Amazon has come in only a few years, with sales and Prime subscribers expanding so rapidly.
Prime Day 2020
Better late than never, Amazon Prime Day kicks off today in place of the regular mid-July date due to complications resulting from the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.
More than ever, Amazon has emphasized the commitment to helping small businesses as they continue to recover from the unforeseen consequences of COVID-19. Amazon has offered $10 credit to use on Prime Day when members spend at least $10 on items sold by select small businesses within the platform.
Prime Day 2020 will surely be yet another enormous worldwide sales event. The mid-October start date will undoubtedly be interesting to see how it stacks up with the usual July deals. Industry experts forecast Prime Day 2020 to crush the competition yet again.
Prime Day taking place so close to Black Friday will undoubtedly steal some of the thunder from Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and has the potential to change what we know of the holiday shopping season.
As traditional retailers face struggles presented by COVID-19, ecommerce appears poised to dominate this holiday season. With an extended shopping void due to the delayed Prime Day, the appetite for deals could be at an all-time high.
Where does it go from here? There’s no telling!
As Amazon continues to expand its reach, there truly is no limit to how expansive Prime Day can be! Who would’ve thought that a Taylor Swift concert would headline Prime Day? Or that Prime Day would be in grocery stores, as it is with Amazon-owned Whole Foods?
The possibilities are endless, and the Prime subscriber base continues to expand in the U.S. and around the world.
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