Report: Here’s What Really Happened On Amazon Prime Day

Marc Mezzacca
Published on: 07/22/19

Christmas in July has been around for sometime as an ironic type of holiday. But Amazon has transitioned July into a literal holiday shopping season. By Amazon placing it’s annual Prime Day in July it has drawn significant consumer interest during a traditionally soft-sales month for retailers. Over the last few years Amazon has single-handedly led the transition of July from a retail drag, into somewhat of a Black Friday competitor, and has forced other retailers to compete along the way.

Amazon was quick this year to issue a press release touting their latest achievement that Prime Day 2019 surpassed Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined, and Prime members purchased more than 175 million items throughout the event. However, we wanted to gauge what consumers had to say directly.

In this report we surveyed 1,801 Americans, and found that about 95% of them have shopped at Amazon over the last 12 months. There were 1,702 American shoppers who’ve made an Amazon.com purchase in the last 12 months. These shoppers were surveyed the very next day after Amazon Prime day event ended, and were asked various questions to provide insights on their shopping behavior and experience. We analyzed both the overall audience responses, as well as just the segment of Prime members who shopped on Prime Day (41% of overall respondents). We also took comparisons from our pre-Amazon Prime day survey and analyzed the outcomes on what actually happened.

  • 95% of Americans have shopped at Amazon over the last 12 months.
  • 74% of all Amazon shoppers stated they are Amazon Prime members, with 3.58% stating they just became Amazon Prime members because of Prime Day.
  • 42% of all Amazon shoppers shopped Prime Day last year, versus 44% who shopped Amazon Prime Day this year.
  • 86% of Amazon Prime members plan to stay as Prime members, while 14% plan to cancel, and 5.5% plan to cancel immediately.

Did people actually shop?

Yes, people shopped- to the tune of $2+ billion per day, per Amazon’s press release. Of all Amazon shoppers we surveyed, 44% said they shopped on Amazon during Prime Day.

  • More than half (53.3%) of all Prime members shopped on Prime Day. In our previous survey, about 2 of 3 (64%) Amazon Prime members anticipated they would shop on Prime Day. Our post-Prime Day survey showed that it was actually closer to half (53.3%) of Prime members who actually did shop on Prime Day.

  • The number of Prime member shoppers was similar to that of last year. 50.3% of Prime members reported shopping Prime Day last year, compared to 53.30% who shopped this year.

  • About 1 out of 3 (34.14%) Prime members who did not shop Prime day last year, did shop on Prime day this year.

42% of Amazon Prime members shopped because of interest in Prime Day sales- 22% stated they shopped purely for Prime Day sales, while 20% stated they needed something but were also interested in Prime Day sales.

Did Amazon deliver on deals?

For all the hype, we wanted to see how Amazon (and other retailers) delivered upon consumers expectations. It appears Amazon did not disappoint, but did not over deliver either.

Expectations were met on deals. 57% of Amazon Prime members stated the deals were good or excellent, while 31% stated the deals were so-so. Only 4% stated the deals were terrible.

Mixed bag on finding product specific savings. Over half (51.5%) of Amazon Prime members stated that most or all of the items they were looking for were discounted, while 48.5% stated that most or all were not discounted.

What happened with other retailers?

Over 1 out of 3 (36%) Prime day shoppers also shopped other retailers because of their own sales. Of those members who shopped Amazon.com during Prime Day, 18% also shopped at Walmart, 15% also shopped Target, and 8% shopped at Best Buy because of their own promotions or sales.

Walmart and Target led the pack among websites that Amazon Prime members also shopped at because of promotions on or around Prime Day.

CouponFollow tracked over 100 other retailers who offered promotions and coupon codes during the month of July related to or piggybacking off of Prime Day including eBay, Jcrew, DKNY, Jared, JBL, and many others.

Other retailers got in on Amazon’s day, and have been increasingly aggressive about marketing around it. Rather then their own day, many use a spin off on “Prime”. Walmart.com launched The Big Save sale, eBay launched a "Crash Sale", and many other retailers just played directly on the term "Prime". See the screenshot of emails below with the term “Prime” highlighted across various retailers.

eBay offered steep discounts on tech, including up to 50 percent off on some products from very reputable name brands like Apple and Samsung.

How Much Are Prime Members Really Spending?

According to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, the average Prime member spends $1,400 a year on Amazon, more than double the $600 spent by shoppers who aren’t Prime members. According to our survey, 3 out of 4 (75%) of Amazon Prime members they estimated spending $1000 or less per year on Amazon. This may be an indication that American shoppers don't have a true sense of just how much they are spending on Amazon every year.

With features on the Amazon website leading shoppers to checkout quickly, as well as free two-day shipping, shoppers have become accustomed to both the easy of ordering and receiving items rapidly. In some cases, however, this may lead to "Amazonesia," where shoppers order items from Amazon, but forget what they ordered until opening the package.

Spending on Prime Day

Over half (52.4%) of Prime day shoppers stated they spent more on Prime Day than they would have on a regular day, with 1 out of 5 (19.36%) Prime members stating they spent much more on Prime day than they would have on a regular day.

Roughly 60% off Amazon Prime members spent $100 or less, while 40% of Amazon Prime members spent more than $100 shopping on amazon.com during Prime Day. Here’s a breakdown of spending:

Can Prime Day Really Compete Against Black Friday?

Amazon Prime Day is showing strong signs of competition against Black Friday, but big spending is still done in Q4.

70% of all Amazon shoppers shop on either Amazon Prime Day or Black Friday, or both. Of those who shop on one or both days, close to half (44%) state they spend the same or more on Amazon Prime Day. Specifically, 56% state they spend more on Black Friday, 20% state they spend more on Amazon Prime day, while 24% state they spend about the same on both days. Almost 30% of Amazon shoppers say they spend much more on Black Friday.

However, the margins are much closer when segmenting to just those shoppers who are Prime members and shopped on Prime Day.

Amazon has made serious inroads with their Prime Members towards getting Black Friday type spending to happen during the summer. Time will tell if they can fully surpass it.

Methodology

1,801 Amercians were surveyed on July 17th, 2019, the day following the Amazon Prime event. Of those, 1,702 (94.5%) stated they had made purchases in the last 12 months on Amazon and were used in the survey analysis. Our previous survey was taken on May 28, 2019 to collect responses from 1,422 adults in the U.S. about their online and Amazon.com shopping habits.

about the author

Marc Mezzacca
Marc Mezzacca is CEO of CouponFollow, a consumer savings engine that surfaces popular coupons. He has been in the coupon and deals industry for over a decade with a deep interest in evolving e-commerce technologies.