Smaller items, multiple orders continue dominating Prime Day

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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As of late afternoon on the second day of Amazon Prime Day, sales trends from the first day continued.

According to Prime Day Tracker data posted at 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, June 22 by Numerator, the average order size is $45.05. However, 50% of households shopping Prime Day have already placed two or more orders, bringing the average household spend to $96.32. These trends are tracking similarly to how they were recorded the first day of Prime Day, Monday, June 21. 

Numerator data also shows that more than three-quarters of Prime Day items (76%) sold so far have cost less than $30, with only 5% selling for over $100. The top items sold so far include: Amazon Photos Projects, Amazon Gift Card Reload, and Fire TV Sticks. The top categories consumers say they’ve purchased are Health & Beauty (28%), Household Essentials (27%), Home & Garden (27%), Consumer Electronics (27%), and Apparel & Shoes (27%). Over half of shoppers say they purchased items included in Prime Day deals.

Almost all (97%) Prime Day shoppers are Amazon Prime members; the majority have been members for over a year, but 2% joined June 22 and 8% since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The typical observed Prime Day shopper so far is a high income, suburban female age 35 to 44.

In an exclusive interview with Chain Store Age, Andrea Wasserman, head of global commerce, Verizon Media, said Prime Day has become an essential part of the retail calendar.

“Since Amazon’s Prime Day debut, other retailers have introduced rival offers of their own,” stated Wasserman. “According to Amazon, this year’s Prime Day will feature over two million deals. Deals are across categories, but it’s typically a huge day for technology and electronic purchases, in addition to kitchen appliances.” 

Wasserman acknowledged that ongoing challenges in routing products through the supply chain could pose a problem this year, but saw a potential silver lining.

“Supply chain issues could impact Amazon sellers, especially considering how the global supply chain is still recovering from COVID-19 impacts,” said Wasserman. “From important shipping materials to labor shortages, we’ll likely see some backlogs. If anything, brands can always learn from these potential challenges. Prime Day offers brands a chance to evaluate supply chain strategy ahead of the holiday shopping season.”

Ben Hartwell, who is a category manager at Perch, an acquirer and operator of Amazon brands, told Chain Store Age his company is seeing an especially volatile Prime Day in 2021.
“What has been interesting is the variability in brand performance compared to Prime Day 2020,” Hartwell said. “Some of our biggest winners in October were disappointingly lackluster on Monday; while Monday's best performer, auto trim kit brand Tresalto, was a bottom-quartile performer after the first day in 2020.”

Hartwell agreed with Wasserman that supply chain issues are a top concern for Prime Day sellers this year.

“There are several factors that contribute to (performance variability),” he said. “But the main two are constrained inventory and unreliable supply chains, which have forced us, and virtually all third-party sellers, to be more selective with our promotions.  

“We've largely been able to maintain inventory levels due to placing our orders months in advance and were judicious in what promotions we scheduled in light of our inventory positions. However, despite herculean efforts from our supply chain team, we did have a few brands that were out of stock for Prime Day. For instance, we predicted that our disposable plates and plasticware brands would be in high demand this Prime Day, as the event more closely coincides with the height of summer outdoor activities, but inventory issues limited our ability to test this thesis out this year.

“This has truly been an unprecedented supply chain environment,” Hartwell concluded. “You can't always plan for such disruption. In fact, we still have inventory stuck on the Ever Given, the ship that halted international trade in the Suez Canal, because it was impounded by Egyptian authorities after getting dislodged.”