What Amazon’s Prime Day Means for eCommerce
Interested in an automatic egg poacher? Or, maybe a set of USB-c cables? Better yet, a giant swan raft? Anyone who shopped Amazon’s Prime Day surely noticed the eclectic variety of products featured by the eCommerce giant.
But according to numerous reports, consumers turned out in droves to purchase products which is evidenced by Amazon’s sales on Prime Day jumped a reported 60% YOY, with estimates highlighting $2 billion in sales. This is the largest in the event’s short history.
Amazon’s Hallmark Moment
While the summer season may be slow for many online retailers, Amazon’s creation of a Black Friday-esque event in the middle of the year showcases the retail giant’s stranglehold over our consumer shopping behavior.
Much like Hallmark’s creation of special days like Grandparents day or Home Depot’s ‘Spring Black Friday,’ or most similarly, Alibaba’s Single’s Day, Amazon’s Prime Day highlights the excitement, attention, and transactional consumer mindset they have over their flock of loyalists; and the promise of good deals.
Amazon Owns Product Searches
According to ComScore, product searches generally start at Amazon, earning twice as many search initiations as the next closest competitor. A few years back, you remember making a purchase on Amazon because you were more interested in the deep discount. Amazon famously set their sights on less profit margin with the goal of changing consumer behavior by altering their perception of eCommerce purchases of everyday items, and doubling down on highlighting the convenience as a unique selling proposition.
This strategy has obviously paid off as data supports that Amazon Prime members make twice as many purchases per month than non-Prime members.
Changing Consumer Behavior starts with a Vending Machine
One of the highlights of Prime Day was the most successful product, Amazon’s own Echo (more specifically the Dot) which is powered by voice assistant Alexa. While this doesn’t surprise many that the Echo was the top selling product, this doubles down on Amazon’s interest in becoming your one-stop-shop for everyday items, as well as dispels rumors about Google’s Home product earning increased market share of the Voice Assistant market.
If Amazon is able to insert their passive listening voice assistant in more homes, sell the value of its problem solving capabilities, couldn’t Amazon earn an even larger share of your consumable purchase behavior?
In my eyes, the Echo is Amazon’s vending machine. It is the device that allows you to easily purchase and dispense products you place little thought into, such as consumables. We rarely deviate from our favorite brand of Almond Milk, Protein Bar, Facial Tissue, and other everyday items. So, if Amazon can bring those to you at a relatively similar price point and delivered to your door in 2 or less days, why fight the crowds in big box retail? Amazon is continuing to adapt consumer behavior and the Echo is their device to execute this adaptation.
Room for more Saturation?
What we found to be the most telling statistic from the numbers following the event is that it appears traffic to Amazon from existing Amazon users was down from prior year, despite the massive increase in sales. Does this mean that consumers went to Amazon and purchased at a higher rate then previous years? Does this mean their cart size was larger? Both could be true, but the fact Amazon surely earned a higher share of new audience, given its saturation in the consumer mindset, should at least make other online retailers take notice.