Amazon Prime Day 2017: Recap

Sinead McIntyre
Sinead McIntyre
August 21, 2017

Amazon Prime Day has rapidly turned into one of the most crucial online shopping “holidays,” as the industry has dubbed it, and has made its way on top of the eSellers’ calendar. Due to Amazon’s ability to invent holidays and drive revenue from them, it’s no enigma as to why they’re outdoing other large companies like Hallmark. Below is a recap of Amazon Prime Day 2017, which includes some basic stats and information on the day itself, and most importantly: strategies and key takeaways inspired by Prime Day.

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Unprecedented number of purchases and new sign-ups

According to Amazon, Prime Day 2017 was the biggest yet; the 30-hour shopping holiday saw an increase of 60% in sales compared to last year’s Prime Day, with an estimated $2 billion in total sales.

Some estimates found that approximately 70% of U.S. households have Prime membership and according to Amazon, “tens of millions”  of Prime members used them specifically on Prime Day, which is a 50% year-after-year increase.

Beyond sales, Amazon also revealed that the ranks of Prime members went up exponentially in one whole day, as customers without Prime memberships naturally wanted to take advantage of Prime Day deals, and simply went forward with registering for a membership that day. The cost? $99 annually, or $10.99 monthly.

The success of the Echo Dot

Voice assistance has been on the rise lately, and thanks to Amazon’s Echo Dot Speaker, whose competitors are both Google and Apple, it has hit its peak, since its distinct status of as being the best-selling product on Prime Day.

The voice assistant, which retails $49.99, was on sale for 30% less, bringing its price down to a mere $34.99. In addition, Amazon also heavily discounted the bigger version of the product that boasts more features to $89.99 from its original price of $179.99. According to a source at TechCrunch, Amazon was selling thousands of Echo products by the minute at one point during Prime Day, and eventually tripled the total number of sales made in the United States, as well as internationally, compared to Prime Day of 2016. If it hasn’t been done already, the ultra-swift pace at which the Echo Dot was sold only solidifies the argument that Amazon can and will win the market of voice-controlled speakers.

Third parties cannot wait

There are a great deal of lessons for eCommerce teams that can be taken from the results of Prime Day 2016. Among them is to keep in mind that retailers rely on 3rd party tags because they deliver actual business value and substantial UX features. In fact, retailers should be using more tags, not less, or removing them entirely. Every 3rd party tag makes multiple calls to external servers that you don’t have any control over, and each call is a representation of a potential point of failure that can be softened by the right preparation in advance.

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Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by delays and small mistakes during your own version of Amazon’s Prime Day. If you come across any issues on Black Friday, for example, it’s crucial that you react as quickly as Amazon (under one hour). For this, you’ll need the proper analytics that will enable you to not only identify third parties that tend to be problematic, but also to react to the situation as quickly as possible.  There are plenty of eCommerce acceleration platforms, such as Abandonaid and Software Ag that can help you dissect, optimize, and even sequence the loading of 3rd party tags, guaranteeing a positive experience during your most hectic periods of business.

Time is money

A study by Kohavi and Longbotham in 2007 found that a 100ms delay in the loading of Amazon.com page results in a whopping 1% drop in revenue.  Duplicated studies that have been carried out recently, have been able to expand upon this. Soasta and Aberdeen each found that a one second delay generates a 7% loss in conversions. Also, eBags stated that every second beyond 3 seconds in page load time results in a 20% drop in conversion. If this concept were to be applied to Amazon, then if an issue was as simple as a 1s delay in loading time, this would result in the loss of $7M in sales, due to a tiny problem pertaining to a tracking tag that experienced difficulties for just under an hour.

Amazon is known to build most of their capabilities in-house, allowing them to provide the quickest and best service possible. However, even Amazon relies on a handful of 3rd party company tags to keep track of visitors, optimize their advertising, and customize the user experience. Therefore, the results are  a huge hit or miss, because if everything is functioning as usual, this rakes in millions, but one small mishap, and the same amount can be lost. Therefore, it’s imperative to stay organized, especially during events that your company holds that resemble Amazon Prime. Stay on top of your tracking game, and don’t underestimate the power of third party tags.

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