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06/21/2021

Amazon Prime Day kicks off with multiple orders of smaller items

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Prime Day 2021 got underway on Monday and, as of late afternoon, the majority of items sold were priced less than $30. 

According to initial Live Prime Day Tracker data from Numerator, the average order size is $46.88. However, over one in three households (36%) shopping Prime Day have already placed two or more orders, bringing the average household spend to $82.14.

Numerator data also shows that more than seven in 10 Prime Day items (73%) sold so far have cost less than $30, with about 12% selling for over $100. The top items sold so far include: Amazon Fire TV Stick, Amazon Gift Card Reload, and Echo Dot 4th Generation. The typical Prime Day shopper observed by Numerator is a high-income, urban female, age 35 to 44.

Initial Salesforce Shopping Index data suggests that Amazon Prime Day's "halo effect" is providing a boost in sales for Amazon competitors. According to Salesforce Shopping Index, online spending at non-Amazon sites (many of which are running their own competing promotions) was up 7% as of noon ET compared to the same period during Prime Day 2020, but up 70% from the same period during Prime Day 2019.

In an exclusive interview with Chain Store Age, Jon Elder, founder of Amazon seller consultancy Black Label Advisor, said Prime Day 2021 is presenting third-party sellers with issues they may not have faced in previous editions of the event.

“Prime Day is not as sexy in year’s past,” said Elder. “2021 has presented sellers with a myriad of challenges ranging from logistics headaches and skyrocketing raw material costs. Prime Day deals are not as good due to widespread margin compression. For many sellers, Amazon has severely limited their inventory capacity, resulting in cancelled deals.

“In terms of supply chain, sellers have seen sea containers go from $5 to $20k with no end in sight. As a result, they have passed these costs onto their customers. Murky waters are ahead. 2022 should see some relief.”

Kristen Gall, president of online rewards platform Rakuten Rewards (which is running its own event competing with Prime Day), told Chain Store Age she recommends that retailers look beyond partnering with Amazon for its mega-event.

“Offering cash-back events is a great opportunity for online retailers to compete for the wallets of the savviest and most engaged shoppers,” said Gall. “All of the excitement creates lots of ways for brands to get involved without needing to sacrifice their own brand experience. The brands that put all their eggs in one basket end up sacrificing these added benefits. The advantages of investing in rewarding strategies like cash back go beyond driving conversions.”