Amazon Prime Day on Track to Generate $5.8B in Sales
In just five years, Amazon.com’s annual Prime Day sales event has gone from a way for the online retail giant to promote its Prime membership program to a nationwide shopping holiday. Amazon began this year's 48-hour sale (up from lat year's 36 hours) at 12:00 a.m. PST this morning, and it will run until tomorrow at 11:59 p.m. PST. The retailer is promising 1 million deals globally, and is forecast to generate approximately $5.8 billion in global product sales during the event, according to Coresight Research, a significant jump from Coresight’s $3.9 billion estimate for Prime Day's 2018 revenues.
Total Retail’s Take: While Prime Day is an event started by Amazon, the midsummer shopping holiday has attracted more and more competition over the years, with 2019 being no exception. It's estimated that Target, Walmart, and 250 other retailers are offering some sort of special promotion during Prime Day 2019 to compete with Amazon. And consumers are ready to check out these competitors’ deals. In fact, a survey from Bazaarvoice found that consumers plan to shop at Walmart (44 percent), Target (40 percent), Best Buy (24 percent) and Macy’s (18 percent) on or around Prime Day this year.
Amit Sharma, CEO of customer experience platform Narvar, said that while Amazon Prime Day has transformed retail since its inception, this year is different. "Brands are fighting back in new ways, both by getting more aggressive with promotions and by playing on the possibility of Amazon's servers crashing," Sharma said. "It's important for all brands to realize that they need to invest in customer experience and not just compete by offering discounts."
Sharma added: "If your brand wants to take advantage of retail’s biggest day of the year, make sure its systems and deals match up to consumers’ expectations. Learn from the Prime Day failure of last year — the bigger the hype, the bigger the disappointment if an experience falls short." Sharma was referring to Amazon's website glitches that began at the start of Prime Day last year, slowing sales on the e-tailer's biggest shopping day of the year.
As of press time, there was one report of website glitches on Amazon's site, but not a widespread issue like last year.
Melissa Campanelli is Editor-in-Chief of Total Retail. She is an industry veteran, having covered all aspects of retail, tech, digital, e-commerce, and marketing over the past 20 years. Melissa is also the co-founder of the Women in Retail Leadership Circle.