Holiday/Seasonal

Amazon Prime Day 2017 Recap: Amazon’s Best Sales Day in History

With Prime Day 2017 now in the books, it has officially become the most successful sales day in Amazon history.

 

You’re not hearing that wrong.

Prime Day 2017 has officially surpassed Prime Day 2016, along with every Black Friday and Cyber Monday ever, as the biggest shopping day event in company history, topping out at an estimated $2.88 billion in sales.

Get used to hearing “another year, another Amazon Prime Day sales record broken,” because after three years, that seems to be the theme. And even Amazon didn’t expect it to be that much of a hit with consumers before the promotion began.

Amazon Prime Day 2017 recap - Jeff Bezos.jpg

Even Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos didn’t expect Prime Day to become such a success

Greg Greeley, Vice President of Amazon Prime, was clearly excited by the success of Prime Day 2017, and indicated that the company already has Prime Day 2018 plans in the works:

“To those customers who tried Prime for the first time and our long time members, thank you for a great Prime Day. Our teams around the world will keep working to add more and more to your membership, so Prime continues to make your life better every day. We are already looking forward to our Prime Day celebration next year.”

We’ve put together a quick Amazon Prime Day 2017 recap to help sellers better understand how important this shopping “holiday” has become.

Read on for all the details!


Amazon Prime Day 2017 recap: the highlights

Sure, you already know that Prime Day 2017 was a ridiculously good sales day for Amazon itself. The company sold a record number of its devices, including its Echo Dot (the best-selling product across every category during Prime Day 2017), Echo, Fire tablets, and Kindle devices.

In fact, consumers purchased 7 times more Echo devices on Prime Day 2017 versus Prime Day 2016. And, the number of users who placed orders using the Amazon app was in the tens of millions—more than double the amount of orders placed through its app last year.

But how was Prime Day 2017 for sellers?

It turns out that Amazon’s third-party merchants did pretty well for themselves, too.

That because more Prime members than ever shopped on Amazon during Prime Day—across 13 different countries.

SimilarWeb found that traffic to Amazon rose by 5% on Prime Day 2017 versus Prime Day 2016. SimilarWeb also found that Prime Day 2017 traffic was 69% higher than average daily traffic in June 2017.

And according to Amazon, Prime Day 2017 sales grew in excess of 60% compared to the same 30-hour period in 2016, and “sales growth by small businesses and entrepreneurs was even higher.”

It’s important to note that while Prime Day 2017 ran all day July 11th, it officially began at 6pm PST on July 10th, giving consumers an extra six hours to shop Lightning Deals.

This was not the case in 2016, so the 60% increase may have been skewed in a positive direction due to this year’s earlier start. Still, it’s fair to assume that sales would still have increased year-over-year even if Amazon didn’t increase the promotion from 24 to 30 hours.

Of the $2.88 billion in sales that Amazon is estimated to have generated with Prime Day 2017, marketplace sellers are estimated to account for about one-third, equating to approximately $960 million in sales—in a single day.

We’ll talk more about the top products sold on Prime Day 2017 later on, but here’s a little taste of some of the numbers:

Over 3.5 million toys, more than 200,000 women’s dresses, and in excess of 200,000 lightbulbs were bought during Prime Day 2017.

On top of that, the All New Element 55-inch 4K Ultra HD smart LED TV, Amazon Fire TV Edition was the best-selling TV deal in Amazon history.

Those are some staggering numbers!


What marketplace sellers had to say about Prime Day 2017

In order to participate in Lightning Deals on Prime Day, sellers had to first be invited based on having superior metrics. And after that, they had to fork over a lot of money.

A per-listing fee of $500 applied to any Lightning Deal that ran during the 30 hours of Prime Day, while a less-but-still-painful $300 per listing fee was tacked on to any Lightning Deal run during Prime Day Week that didn’t fall during those peak 30 hours.

With that in mind, many observers were skeptical that Prime Day would be as successful for sellers as Amazon was leading them to believe.

While we were only given a glimpse into a handful of sellers’ post-Prime Day accounts (and via an Amazon press release, at that), the following quotations from third-party sellers reflect a very positive sentiment about the effects of the promotion:

Lawrence Bibi, LightAccents, based in New York, NY: “LightAccents had a fantastic Prime Day. It was our best sales day in over two years.”

Victor Chang, Furbo Dog Camera, Bellevue, WA: “We’re absolutely thrilled – our daily sales increased by over 500 times on Prime Day. Within the first six hours, Furbo Dog Camera shot up to the No.1 Best Seller in four categories including the highly competitive pet supplies and home monitor category.”

Caron Proschan, Simply Gum, New York, NY: “Prime Day was a huge success for us. We had a massive lift in sales last night compared to an average Monday night, and our deal sold out almost as soon as it went live. The level of demand far surpassed our expectations.”

Ben Arneberg, Willow & Everett, Boston, MA: “Overall, for the Prime Day event (all 30 hours), we saw about 20 times more overall sales. This is a huge benefit to our business, as it gives us exposure to thousands of new customers, and helps us with cash flow as we ramp up on inventory for the Holiday Season.”

Tyler & Courtney LeCompte, Confetti Momma, Lafayette, LA.: “Prime Day has been another amazing success this year! Both Monday and Tuesday (Prime Day) were record days in sales for our business. It's great to have the additional sales boost during these traditionally slower summer months.”

Clearly, these sellers will be looking forward to next year’s Prime Day, and their success will surely inspire other sellers who spent this year on the sidelines to jump into the fray in 2018.


Recapping the top products sold during Amazon Prime Day 2017

It’s amazing how Prime Day brings out the home cooks in North America. For the second year in a row, pressure cookers from the company Instant Pot were top-sellers in the US and Canada.

According to Amazon, the following is a recap of the top products sold during Prime Day 2017:

• U.S.: Instant Pot DUO80 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker; 23andMe DNA Tests for Health + Ancestry

 U.K.: TP-Link Wi-Fi Smart Plug that works with Alexa; Sony Playstation 4

 Spain: SanDisk Ultra Fit 64GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive; Moto G Plus (5th Generation) Smartphone; Lenovo Ideapad 310 Laptop

 Mexico: AmazonBasics Apple Certified Lightning to USB Cable; Nintendo Switch

 Japan: SAVAS Whey Protein; Happy Belly pure bottled water

 Italy: Finish All in One Max tablets; Caffe Vergnano 1882 Espresso machine

 India: OnePlus 5 phone; Seagate Expansion 1.5TB Portable External Drive

 Germany and Austria: PlayStation Plus Membership; Sodastream

 France and Belgium: PlayStation Plus Membership; Game of Thrones - The Complete Season 1 to 6 Blu-Ray

 China: Fisher Price Soothe and Glow Seahorse; A Brief History of Humankind + A Brief History of Tomorrow set

 Canada: Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, 8 Qt; AmazonBasics AA Rechargeable Batteries (8-Pack)

Back-to-school products were also very popular sellers, taking up 22% of Prime Day sales according to Market Track. For sellers looking to next year’s Prime Day, this is a category you’ll want to focus heavily on for sure.

On the flipside, the grocery category wasn’t even mentioned in Amazon’s post-Prime Day press release. With the recent acquisition of Whole Foods Market (if it actually goes through…), it seems like Amazon is pushing into this space aggressively, so expect grocery items to be a bigger part of Prime Day promotions next year.


Here’s how Amazon’s competitors responded to Prime Day 2017

A study by Internet Retailer found that 47 out of the 100 largest retailers were offering promotions in direct competition with Prime Day 2017.

Retailers like Best Buy, Target, Wayfair, Kohl’s, and Newegg all ran sales, discounts, or branded shopping events to compete with Amazon Prime Day 2017.

Not that it meant much; Amazon still offered the lowest prices of any major retailer during Prime Day Week.

The one competitor that seemed able to cast at least some clouds over Amazon on Prime Day is Walmart. That’s because Walmart Marketplace was able to compete on price against Amazon better than any other retailer.

Jet.com, Walmart’s recent acquisition, didn’t compete as effectively, but offered reasonable prices compared to Amazon’s for some listings.

Check out the chart below, courtesy of Market Watch, that compares Amazon with its four biggest eCommerce threats on the prices of popular Prime Day products. You’ll see that Walmart was the only other retailer that came close on matching Amazon’s amount of low prices on Prime Day 2017:

Amazon Prime Day 2017 recap - Competition.png

Retail consultant Jan Kniffen of J. Rogers Kniffen summed up Amazon vs Walmart best while speaking on CNBC about how the two compete and expressed that he expects Amazon to continue dominating, despite Walmart’s challenge.

"There's only one [company] really geared to fight back, and it's called Walmart. I think [Walmart] is doing a great job. I think they're the biggest threat to Amazon. I think the two of them battle it out in grocery, they battle it out in the rest of retailing, they battle it out online, and they're going to battle it out in brick-and-mortar now.

“I kind of think for retailing [this] is hilarious and scary, both. Nobody does any business in July. Amazon intends to take over the world, and they're doing a pretty darn good job of it."


Amazon Prime Day 2017 recap: the bottom line

As you can tell from this recap, Amazon Prime Day 2017 was a massive success. And, the company only seems to be gaining momentum when it comes to the shopping event it created during the slowest of sales seasons.

Let that be your motivation to prepare yourself more than ever for Prime Day leading up to 2018’s event.

And, let all the seller success stories from Prime Day and beyond inspire you to scale your eCommerce operation to new heights as we move toward the Q4 holiday rush.


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