2020: The ongoing pandemic is accelerating the growth of ecommerce.
Amazon: Hold my beer.
EMarketer forecast that worldwide sales on Amazon Prime Day, which kicks off on Oct. 13, will surge 43% year over year to hit $9.91 billion. Last year’s Prime Day sales totaled $6.93 billion.
Nearly $10 billion worth of sales in a single day is a lot of money, but not altogether surprising when you consider that “Amazon has done extraordinarily well in taking advantage of a lot of different tailwinds all at once,” said Andrew Lipsman, a principal analyst at eMarketer.
Consumer demand is holding up despite the economic environment, online shopping is rising, including among people new to ecommerce, and Prime Day itself is taking place closer to the holiday season.
Prime Day usually occurs in mid-July, but was delayed this year due to the pandemic.
As in years past, other retailers are piggybacking onto Prime Day with their own deals. Target and Walmart, for example, are holding Black Friday-like sales on or around Prime Day. App Annie expects that consumers will spend 60 million hours in shopping apps during the week of Prime Day – a 30% YoY increase.
If Amazon and every major retailer in America tells you that it’s the holiday shopping season in mid-October … then I guess it’s the holiday shopping season in mid-October.
“These forces are coming together so that Prime Day and any corresponding activity will be strong,” Lipsman said. “This will get people into the holiday shopping mindset early.”
There will no doubt be a lull in early November when attention is on the election, but by the time Thanksgiving rolls around, he said, “consumers will have been fully primed for the holiday season – no pun intended.”
And the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Lipsman said, are “a golden period for marketers.”
“Consumers will be receptive to marketing messages and ready to convert,” he said. “Savvy marketers that acquired prospects early on in the shopping process can retarget them and drive those sales when it really matters.”
The bonanza on Prime Day itself, though, will boost Amazon’s fortunes before – and long after – the holidays are over.
Because Prime Day deals are only available to Prime members, Amazon’s made-up annual shopping holiday also serves as a massive low-cost acquisition channel to attract subscribers, not to mention all of the earned media Amazon garners in the lead-up.
And Prime Day this year is also happening against a backdrop of shifting consumer shopping habits. People are increasingly opting to head online to purchase products, such as essential home goods and groceries, that they used to only buy in physical stores.
“And all of that plays right into Amazon’s hands,” Lipsman said.
Updated 10/12/20 to reflect correction to App Annie data.