Prime Day created buzz for Amazon and others

Prime Day 2018 was the biggest sales event in the e-commerce giant’s history, with estimated global sales hitting $4.38 billion, Internet Retailer reports.

Prime Day 2018 Promotion BreakdownBusiness Insider Intelligence

Amazon offered approximately 1.9 million promotions globally in 2018, a roughly 37% increase over Prime Day 2017, with apparel, shoes, sporting goods, and home goods being the most popular categories, according to a study by One Click Retail. The e-tailer is also paying more and more attention to cultivating foreign markets, with almost 60% of Prime Day deals occurring on its international marketplaces.

The shopping event was a big day for other retailers offering competing deals as well. Several major retailers besides Amazon, such as eBay and Walmart, offered deals on Prime Day with the intention of capitalizing on the shopping frenzy surrounding the event.

Forty percent of consumers made a purchase because of the deals available, with Walmart and Target being the most popular destinations, according to a study from A.T. Kearney sent to Business Insider Intelligence. The success of competing retailers may have been helped along by technical difficulties and outages that impacted Amazon’s website for several hours, which 24% of shoppers said greatly affected their purchase plans.

Despite the success of other retailers, Prime Day 2018 showed its worth as a way for Amazon to attract new users and encourage Prime membership growth.WhilePrime membership growth in the US has been steadily decelerating since 2016, leading to concerns that the program is approaching saturation, Prime Day 2018 was a strong event for new users.

Fifty-two percent of customers said that it was their first time making a Prime Day purchase, and the event drove more Prime membership signups than any other day in the history of the company, showing that Amazon is still finding ways to attract new members.

The availability of relevant discounts, combined with the focus on promotions in non-US markets, may help the e-tailer continue to drive penetration well into the future by proving that Prime is worth its price to nonmembers in the US and by increasing exposure for the company abroad.

But if other retailers can manage to decentralize Prime Day, it may lose much of the value it holds for Amazon. A significant part of Prime Day for Amazon is that it drives the desire to be a Prime member and shop with Amazon, which makes it interesting that almost half of the respondents took advantage of deals elsewhere as well.

If other retailers can recast the holiday so that it becomes more about shopping for special deals online than it is about shopping with Amazon specifically, the event will lose a lot of the momentum that it lends to the e-commerce giant.