March 7, 2021

Amazon Prime Day 2018: The Results

Dr Peter Mowforth

UK Amazon Prime Day has celebrated it’s fourth consecutive year for those looking for great deals online. Prime ‘day’ lasted for 36 hours and ran from noon on the 16th July to midnight on 17th. The 24+ hours is because of the different time zones covered by the event.Amazon Prime Day operated in the UK, US, Spain, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, Canada, Belgium and Austria.In 2017, Global Prime Day saw sales of $2.41B up by 58% from $1.52B in 2016. Amazon have not confirmed exact final sales figures but they are expected to be around the $4 billion mark; i.e up around a third from 2017.  The Echo Dot and Fire TV Stick were the two best selling items this year, according to Amazon. The top non-Amazon product were Instant Pots with 300,000+ sold.

Amazon claims that over 70% of all US households hold an Amazon Prime membership and almost a half of these make a purchase on Google Prime Day. While official final figures for total sales have not been published, the single biggest win for Amazon has been an increase in the number of Amazon prime members which are now over 100 million world wide. This is probably the main factor in the Amazon market capitalisation increasing to over $894 billion. Jeff Bezos’s personal 16% is now worth over $143 billion. This makes him, by far, the wealthiest person on the planet.

Everything about Amazon Prime might suggest that it’s the biggest online shopping bonanza in the world … but it’s not. Amazon’s Chinese rival, Alibaba, has its own shopping binge event called Singles Day. Last year’s event took place on the 11th November 2017. In a mere 24 hours it generated total ecommerce sales of over $25 billion. To give this figure some context, $25 billion for a single day of trading by a single company is larger than the entire annual GDP of around half the countries in the world. Anyone who’s isn’t clear about ecommerce being the biggest technological factor in business today should re-read the previous sentence.While these telephone number statistics may well coincide with great profits for Jeff Bezos and Jack Ma as well as fabulous deals for consumers, few other channels, either offline or online, can compete with the level of discounting and marketing offered by these trading juggernauts. All other suppliers get squeezed placing ever more power in the hands of a very small number of retailers. Whether this is ultimately good for brand-owner-manufacturers or commerce in general becomes an increasingly important question not only for the business community but also for Governments. That seems a fair question to ask and one that will be the subject of a future blog item.

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