Jul 12, 2023 - Economy & Business

Amazon Prime Day is single biggest e-commerce day so far in 2023

Data: Insider Intelligence; Note:E-commerce sales do not include travel or event ticket sales. Amazon includes marketplace and direct sales; Chart: Tory Lysik/Axios Visuals

Amazon's annual, global Prime Day has become a tide that lifts all boats in retail.

Driving the news: Shoppers spent $6.4 billion across U.S. e-commerce platforms on Tuesday, the first day of Amazon's Prime Day, data from Adobe Analytics reveals.

  • That's up about 6% from last year, based on 1 trillion visits to U.S. retail sites.
  • Notably, curbside pickup of online orders rose to 20% of digital sales this year, up from 18% last year, reflecting a rising trend that's helped boost brick-and-mortar giants like Walmart to become more competitive with Amazon.
  • Buy now, pay later orders grew about 20% compared to the first day of Prime day last year, driven by apparel, home and electronics merchandising purchases, as excess savings from the pandemic has fallen about 60% from its peak.

What they're saying: Prime is now an "industrywide shopping holiday" as Best Buy, Walmart, Target and other retailers "counter-program" against it with their own sales, Andrew Lipsman, principal retail and e-commerce analyst at Insider Intelligence, tells Axios.

  • "That drives coordination between shoppers and retailers ... very similar to Black Friday or Cyber Monday."

The big picture: Total U.S. e-commerce sales are expected to grow by about 116% on Prime Day this year versus an average day, according to Lipsman.

  • Non-Amazon retailers specifically could see a 40% increase in sales.
  • Amazon's own sales are expected to grow by 243% on Prime Day over an average day.

The intrigue: The sales event is a welcome sight this year for stores, which are trying to thin inventory while competing for wallet share against revenge spending in leisure and entertainment.

  • Consumers need a reason to spend money on products right now versus things like "Taylor Swift tickets" or travel, Tom Forte, senior research analyst at D.A. Davidson, tells Axios.
  • "If you're a retailer, and you're not focused on live events or travel, then you're looking for something to stimulate sales."

Be smart: For Amazon, Prime Day isn't just about selling as many products as possible — it's also, and maybe even more importantly, about attracting new Prime members.

  • The size of Amazon's Prime membership base plays a huge role in determining the success and growth of the company's e-commerce business, as Prime members typically spend more and use more Amazon products and services.

What to watch: Whether Amazon will hold a second Prime Day event like last year.

  • An Amazon spokesperson said the company does not "speculate on future plans."

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