Prime Day was Amazon’s biggest sales period since it launched in Australia in December 2017.
The 36-hour event surpassed Boxing Day, making July 16 and 17 the biggest two days of sales for Amazon Australia since opening its retail and marketplace offering almost 9 months ago, the company said.
In typical Amazon style the company didn’t provide specifics, but said a record numbers of customers visited amazon.com.au during the sale and the best-selling Amazon device was the Echo Dot.
This year was the first time Australian shoppers could participate in Prime Day, following the launch of its membership program in June. To access the discounts customers in Australia could sign up for Amazon’s 30-day free trial, and then join Prime for AUD$6.99 a month or save 30 per cent with an annual payment of AUD$59.
“Prime only recently launched in Australia yet we were thrilled to see the number of Australian members visiting amazon.com.au to make the most of the great savings available to them on Prime Day,” a spokesperson for Amazon Australia said. “We have been humbled by the reception Prime has had here. It has exceeded our expectations and we look forward to bringing members even greater value and more exciting benefits.”
Early signs of strong growth globally
The sale was held in 16 other countries and wraps up around the globe today. Despite early website outages in the US, Amazon said the first 10 hours Prime Day grew even faster, year-over-year, than the first 10 hours last year.
The company also said small and medium-sized businesses worldwide have exceeded more than $1 billion in sales on Amazon’s marketplace.
Ahead of the sale, Coresight Research estimated sales for the day would come in at $3.4 billion, up 40 per cent from the year before.
That’s compared to Cyber Monday which generated approximately US$6.6 billion in sales, a 16.8 per cent growth compared to 2016. Sales on Black Friday also increased year-on-year by 16.9 per cent to US$5.03 billion, according to figures from Adobe.
In China, Alibaba’s Singles’ Day processed US$25 billion, up 40 per cent from 2016.
However, Bloomberg columnists noted that Amazon is likely to sell $320 billion to $380 billion this year, which averages out at $1.5 billion in any 36-hour period (the length of Prime day). The argument goes that while the day may provide a sales lift, it doesn’t have a meaningful impact on the company’s financials.
We will update this story with any final sales figures or estimates as they a come in.
Update 19/07/2018: Amazon says Prime Day 2018 was the biggest sale day in its history, surpassing Cyber Monday, Black Friday and the previous Prime Day. Prime users purchased more than 100 million products and more people signed up for Prime on July 16 than any previous day in Amazon history.
But the day wasn’t just about Amazon. According to figures from Adobe Analytics, large retailers ($1 billion+ in annual revenue) enjoyed a 54 per cent increase in sales versus an average Tuesday.
In the US, online spending reached $115.8 billion in the second quarter, up 15 per cent from $101 billion in Q2 2017 and beating predictions. Adobe is forecasting strong growth in Q3, with online sales expected to reach $57.79 billion—surpassing $50 billion for the first time.
Update 20/07/2018: Bloomberg reports, Amazon generated $4.2 billion in sales during Prime Day, a 33 per cent increase on 2017, according to a Wedbush Securities analyst.