The first Prime Day in 2015 already generated almost US$1bn. This success has been surpassed every year since.
In 2016, Amazon generated US$1.5bn on Prime Day, which accounted for 74% of U.S. eCommerce sales on this day. When the duration of the Prime Day was extended from 24 hours to 30 hours in 2017, sales increased by almost 60% to approximately US$2.4bn. In 2018, Amazon extended the duration of the event to 36 hours and incorporated four new countries, such as Australia or Singapore. This resulted in 17m transactions and sales of almost US$4.2bn. But besides generating sales of several million dollars, Amazon pursues a clear strategy: By means of the Prime Days, the eCommerce giant from Seattle wants to position its own products and services and increase their brand awareness. The best example is its service of the same name: Amazon Prime. Launched in February 2005, an Amazon Prime membership initially guaranteed subscribers free delivery within two days of selected products within the U.S. – for US$79 per year. The service was extended, the price rose. Today, subscribers pay US$119 per year and obtain a comprehensive entertainment package in return, including music, films, and TV shows as well as same-day and two-hour delivery in selected regions. Also, the membership has allowed subscribers to take part in the shopping event since the Prime Day was introduced on the occasion of Amazon’s 20th anniversary. Participation in the Amazon Prime Day is still possible for Prime members only. In consideration of the 30-day free trial option, this is a very acceptable condition, which nevertheless pays off for Amazon. With a conversion rate of up to 75%, the probability of binding a Prime member for longer than the trial phase is high, which is also shown by the number of members.
Yet Amazon Prime is not the only element of the Amazon universe that is promoted in the course of the Prime Days. In 2016, Amazon began, amongst others, putting its own products into the page visitors’ focus at attractive prices, contrary to its initial “everything is on sale” approach. These products, such as Amazon Kindle or Fire TV, aim at binding users even closer to the company. In 2017, owners of Amazon Alexa were able to access Prime deals with the help of the voice shopping function already two hours before the official start of the Prime Day. In 2018, Amazon offered attractive deals in the food sector in order to benefit from “Whole Foods”, its latest acquisition at that time. There will be a novelty for this year’s Prime Day starting on July 15 and taking 48 hours, too: If users pay with Amazon Pay, a payment service provided by Amazon, further Prime Day offers will be accessible on external websites. This offer is primarily intended to increase the popularity of the service. Prime Day is thus not only a sales guarantee for Amazon, but also a tool for binding online shoppers even closer to the eCommerce giant.
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