Is Amazon Prime Day the Black Friday of summer?

by | Jul 8, 2019 | Public Relations

New research from martech and consumer engagement firm Valassis released ahead of Amazon Prime Day (July 15-16) examines consumer behavior related to the mid-summer event. Prime Day now rivals Black Friday and Cyber Monday with consumers looking to other retailers to compare prices in pursuit of the best deal.

Stemming from a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers, nearly half of the respondents (46 percent) indicate Amazon’s event provides greater savings than Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Additionally, over two-thirds (68 percent), and 91 percent of Prime members specifically, have shopped on Prime Day previously, or will do so this year. Another 70 percent say they enjoy finding deals and discovering new products when shopping, and 58 percent said that flash sales events like Prime Day help them to do just that.

As the event enters its fifth year, it’s evident the shopping “holiday” is growing at a rampant pace. In fact, last year Prime Day garnered over 100 million products sold and an estimated total sales of $4 billion—marking a 33 percent year-over-year increase.

With that said, when asked whether the deals are worth the hype, respondents were torn—51 percent said the event helps them save money and/or make purchases they normally wouldn’t, while over one-in-three (36 percent) said the opposite. Of that latter group, over one-in-four (27 percent) said Prime Day doesn’t save them much money and the product selections aren’t overly enticing. This is in line with shoppers’ tempered savings expectations. Valassis findings reveal that of those planning to shop on Prime Day this year, a third (33 percent) expect to save just $50 or less. Furthermore, 47 percent said they would be more encouraged to take advantage of Prime Day if even greater deals and savings opportunities were presented.

Nearly half (45 percent) of the respondents compare prices on other retail sites on Prime Day. However, just 9 percent said they actually found better deals in July, presenting retailers an opportunity to amp up their summer deals. Many retailers have capitalized on the mid-summer savings mindset created by Prime Day with their own summertime offerings. Last year, RetailMeNot noted 200 retailers getting in on the Prime Day action.

“Amazon Prime Day has become the Black Friday of summer, creating much anticipation over what deals will be offered, while also resulting in opportunities for other retailers to join this competitive, mid-summer shopping holiday,” said Carrie Parker, vice president of marketing at Valassis, in a news release. “The event goes beyond Amazon, representing marketing opportunities for brands to highlight new products and amplify discounts to consumers willing to spend on items for themselves or to accelerate their back-to-school or holiday shopping.”

Valassis’ research also highlights consumers’ broader Prime Day plans and trends, including:

Omnichannel media touchpoints influence Prime Day purchase behavior

When asked what media influences shoppers most to make Prime Day purchases, emaildigital online ads and social media lead the way. Interestingly, 24 percent of respondents will turn to social media to influence their Prime Day plans, with this spiking among younger generations (44 percent for 18-24-year-olds and 37 percent for 25-34-year-olds).

Despite Prime Day being a digital-only shopping event, the omnichannel appeal remains, with 15 percent saying direct mail influences them to make purchases.

Prime Day extends and accelerates seasonal shopping behavior

Of those planning to shop on Prime Day, about half (49 percent) say Prime Day encourages them to get a jumpstart on their holiday shopping.

Another 16 percent of respondents will use the event to complete a portion of their back-to-school purchases. Furthermore, 43 percent feel that Prime Day helps save them money on these types of purchases. Households with children, in particular, are planning to leverage Prime Day for these reasons (36 percent for holiday and 28 percent for back-to-school items).

Thirty percent say they are planning to buy something for themselves on Prime Day.

Category purchase plans run the gamut

Of those planning to shop on Prime Day, the top purchase areas are:

  • Electronics (39 percent)
  • Home goods/home furnishings (29 percent)
  • Beauty/apparel items (25 percent)
  • Toys/games (22 percent).

Valassis surveyed more than 1,000 consumers to understand their 2019 Amazon Prime Day shopping behaviors. All respondents were located in the United States and were over the age of 18. The survey was conducted at the end of May 2019.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter