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06/23/2021

Total online sales during Amazon Prime Day exceed $11 billion; order size falls

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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The numbers are starting to come in for Prime Day 2021, and sales went up even as the average order size dropped significantly.

According to Adobe Digital Economy Index data, total U.S. online spend across all retailers surpassed $11 billion during the 48 hours of Prime Day (June 21-22). This includes $5.6 billion on day one and $5.4 billion on day two, representing 6.1% growth compared to $10.4 billion in total Prime Day 2020 online revenue. 

Total online revenue surpassed $10.9 billion in online revenue recorded on Cyber Monday, the largest single online shopping day in U.S. history. The first day of Prime Day is the biggest online sales day in the U.S. for 2021 so far, followed by the second day.

However, in a trend that held throughout the 48-hour event, data from market intelligence platform Numerator shows the average Prime Day order size was $44.75, down 18% from $54.64 on Prime Day 2020 and 24% less than $58.91 on Prime Day 2019.

Helping to boost average household spend totals was the fact that Numerator found over half (55%) of households placed two or more orders, with 11% placing five or more Prime Day orders. Six in 10 orders were for $30 or less, with 10% of orders exceeding $200. Over half of households that shopped Prime Day spent over $100, bringing average household spend to $106.41. 

Adobe also found that large retailers with more than $1 billion in annual online revenue benefitted from a strong halo effect across Prime Day, seeing 29% e-commerce revenue lift over an average June day. Smaller retailers with less than $10 million in annual online revenue also did well, seeing their online sales increase by 21%.

In addition, conversion for retailers that offer BOPIS saw a 10% boost in conversion compared to an average June day. Retailers that do not offer BOPIS only saw their conversion increase by 3%, which Adobe says suggests that BOPIS has become a go-top option for consumers.

Email (161%) and affiliate (163%) channels saw the biggest increase in revenue driven during Prime Day, while social networks and paid search saw smaller increases at 106% and 132% respectively
 
 “U.S. retailers continued to benefit from strong shopping momentum on the second Prime Day, catapulting total online spend to $11 billion for both days,” said Taylor Schreiner, director, Adobe Digital Insights. “This is despite relatively muted discounts across most categories, suggesting that there’s a pent-up demand for online shopping as consumers look forward to a return to normalcy. The halo effect of Prime Day also played a significant role, giving both large and small online retailers significant revenue lifts at 29% and 21% respectively.”  

While Amazon traditionally does not release specific Prime Day sales figures, the e-tail giant did confirm members of its Amazon Prime paid membership program purchased more than 250 million items worldwide. Amazon also said customers saved more than any Prime Day before, but did not provide details.

According to Amazon, the Fire TV Stick 4K with Alexa Voice Remote was the most popular item purchased during Prime Day, with customers purchasing more Fire TV 4K streaming media players on Prime Day 2021 than any previous Prime Day. Best-selling categories worldwide for Prime Day 2021 included tools, beauty, nutrition, baby care, electronics, apparel, and household products.

In addition, many experts had speculated that given its late June timing, Prime Day 2021 would mark an early kickoff to the back-to-school shopping season. This may prove to be true, as Amazon data indicated Prime members worldwide purchased more than 600,000 backpacks, 1 million laptops, 1 million headphones, 240,000 notebooks, 40,000 calculators, and 220,000 Crayola products.

“A huge thank you to all of the Amazon teams who made this Prime Day possible for members worldwide and to Prime members who supported small businesses in big ways,” said Dave Clark, CEO of Amazon worldwide consumer. “Prime members are an important part of our Amazon family, and we love to celebrate them during Prime Day with incredible deals and entertainment.”

And in good news for Amazon from a customer loyalty perspective, Numerator data shows that over half (53%) of Prime Day buyers only considered Amazon for their purchase. One-quarter (26%) considered Walmart/Walmart.com, 21% considered Target/Target.com, 10% considered club stores, 9% considered department stores, 8% considered Best Buy/BestBuy.com, and 7% considered grocery stores.

Editor’s Note: Chain Store Age will provide continuing coverage and analysis of Prime Day 2021.