Amazon Prime Day 2017 broke sales record

Amazon Prime Day 2017 ran from the evening of 10 July to midnight on 11 July 2017. In the third year of it has been running the promotion, Amazon saw another record-breaking sales surge during the event for their 85m Prime members.

The bigger goal of Prime Day is to encourage shoppers to sign up for a Prime subscription, which offers free two-day shipping and other services for members. Annual membership is US$99 (prices and services vary per country). Amazon Prime members spend significantly more on the site than non-members, which is the clear reason why Amazon is trying to increase its membership base.

Prime Day 2015 and 2016

In 2015, Amazon announced its first "Amazon Prime Day" to celebrate the company’s 20th birthday. It made an estimated US$1.5bn in sales on the day.

In 2016, orders rose significantly to US$2.5bn in sales, and over 6m new Prime members worldwide were added as a result. Amazon Prime Day 2016 also had a bigger non-US impact than the 2015 event. SimilarWeb in the UK reported that traffic to the Amazon website itself was up 36% on Prime Day 2016, with other UK retailers enjoying a traffic boost of around 22% despite making very little effort.

Prime Day 2017

echo

In 2017, Amazon ran Prime Day promotions in 13 countries: the US, the UK, Spain, Mexico, Japan, Italy, India, Germany, France, China, Canada, Belgium and Austria.

As part of Prime Day 2017, Amazon was offering two of its flagship products, the Fire tablet and the Amazon Echo, at heavily reduced prices.

The Amazon Echo Dot was Amazon’s best seller on Prime Day 2017, with its sales increasing seven-fold vs. Prime Day 2016. With this and similar devices, Amazon looks into future technologies related to voice-activated purchases and further moves towards technology based on the Internet of Things.

Business analysts gave varying estimates of Prime Day’s sales, with Amazon not providing official figures for the event. According to Piper Jaffray, Amazon sold 88m total units during Prime Day 2017 (vs. 55m in 2016) and may have $2.9bn of sales. They also noted that more Prime members were added on Prime Day 2017 than on any other day in Amazon's history. 

Amazon vs others 

What does this mean for the post?

First of all, it is a huge sales day which leads to a large volume of parcels to be delivered. If the average Amazon product sells at US$50, then sales of US$3.5bn translates to 70m parcels to be delivered in a short space of time. This short boost in parcel volumes definitely is an operational challenge for posts and is something that will likely increase over the coming years.

Secondly, the event will further increase the number of Prime members. This means that there will be more consumers buying more online and having greater demands from delivery in terms of both cost and speed. While this is a challenge for the post, it also represents a huge opportunity for growth.

According to the IPC cross-border e-commerce shopper survey 2016, 31% of most recent cross-border online purchases were made on Amazon, 23% on eBay and 11% on Alibaba / AliExpress. IPC works with posts around the world to improve the cross-border parcel delivery experience for both e-retailers and consumers.