Amazon Prime Day 2017: The Full Download

This year’s Amazon Prime Day marked the largest sales day in Amazon’s history. They pulled out all the stops with amped-up advertising, better deals, and an improved user experience. Amazon learned from the issues of their past and delivered the sale of a lifetime. In the latest press release from Amazon, the “company that sells everything” shared some pretty awesome stats from their success on July 11, 2017.

“Alexa, give me my Amazon Prime Day flash briefing”

This year’s Amazon Prime Day was the biggest sales day in Amazon’s history, surpassing any Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

Amazon extended the length of the sale from 24 hours to 30 hours. They saw 60% growth year-over-year (YOY) when compared to the same 30 hour period in 2016. According to a study done by Hitwise, Amazon processed 9.5 million transactions this year—nearly double 2015’s transactions.

More people became Prime members on July 11th than any single day in Amazon’s history.

Amazon saw record growth in their Prime membership, and those new members wasted no time putting their memberships to work. Compared to last year, Amazon saw a 50% increase in purchases made by Prime members.

Amazon Echo Dot, the compact puck-sized version of the Echo, was the best selling product on Prime Day and the top selling device on Amazon as a whole.

During the sale, it was obvious that most of the deals were centered around Amazon tech, which is no real surprise. Even the Echo, the full-size talking speaker from Amazon, was discounted by a whopping 50%. The price cut for that device attracted some of its largest sales numbers to date as well.

Use of the Amazon app on Prime Day doubled compared to last year.

Improved user experience and the advanced access to deals on the Amazon app likely contributed to its increased use during this year’s Prime Day sale. Heavy marketing and creative promotion didn’t hurt either. Amazon prominently advertised the app and its benefits across the site throughout the sale. And many Prime Day giveaways cleverly required users to watch a video on how to use the app in order to enter.

Small businesses and entrepreneurs selling on Amazon saw record-breaking sales during Prime Day.

Amazon’s recent press release included several quotes from ecstatic retailers reporting huge success this year. Some small businesses are even saying they saw up to 500 times more growth, and that’s huge.

“Alexa, what did we learn from Prime Day this year?”

We learned quite a lot from the success of Amazon Prime Day. Other online businesses can take away many key ideas and use them to drive their own sales. Here are just a few of my own takeaways.

Back to school shopping is big!

Prime Day is mostly focused on tech but surprisingly, another best-selling category was back-to-school items. According to eMarketer, 22% of Prime Day deals were back-to-school deals. This is significant for retailer calendars, bumping back to school sales from the traditional August back to early July. Smart retailers will take advantage of this and plan earlier sales tailored to the back-to-school demographic to get ahead of the competition.

Checkout experience has a huge impact on conversion rate.

Everyone in eCommerce knows that checkout is one of the pivotal areas of the customer experience. If it fails, the whole site fails. One thing that Amazon did right this year was optimizing the shopping experience and the path to checkout. After the issues, customers reported last year (does anyone remember the hashtag #PrimeDayFail?), Amazon went straight to work testing and optimizing user experience. Amazon still had its share of issues; that’s to be expected when millions of people are hitting your site. Overall though, user feedback hasn’t been nearly as harsh as last years. It’s important for other retailers to take note and start devoting the same diligence to their shopping and checkout experiences before the big holiday sale season just around the corner.

Find clever incentives and creative rewards.

Creativity pays off, so find ways to get your customers excited. Create a sale that isn’t too complicated but still unique. Reward your loyal customers. Have giveaways. There is a multitude of options to choose from. Don’t be scared to use more than one promotion at a time. One of the great things about Prime Day is that Amazon uses a variety of tactics to get us hooked; what hooks me may not hook you. And if this year’s Prime Day numbers prove anything, they prove that many, many of us do indeed get hooked.

Wrapping it all up

I have a love/hate relationship with Amazon. They do big things, like finding a unique way to generate sales in an otherwise dead shopping season. And I’ll be honest;. I purchased an Amazon Echo and an iRobot Roomba on Prime Day. The deals were just too good. I will purchase from Amazon in the future, and I’ll get excited about Amazon Prime Day next year. Hey, it’s a good sale and I can appreciate the execution of a good sale. Yet the bigger Amazon gets, the harder the smaller retailers have to fight. A colleague of mine shared an interesting statistic recently: 74% of internet shopping traffic is split between Amazon (51.24%) and eBay (22.01%). That leaves everyone fighting for their share of the 26% left over. It’s important to highlight this statistic because as a retailer, you have to work hard to be in that 26%. But here’s the good news: If you get creative and give customers a reason to shop with you, you can do big things too. Listen to your customers and find the reason.

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