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How Amazon Prime Day Compares to Other Shopping Bonanzas

How Amazon Prime Day Compares to Other Shopping Bonanzas

How Amazon Prime Day Compares to Other Shopping Bonanzas

The Chart of the Week is a weekly Visual Capitalist feature on Fridays.

Earlier this week, products were flying off their figurative shelves at a pace that is pretty unusual for the summer. That’s because July 11, 2017 was the third-ever Amazon Prime Day – and in just a 30-hour period, the online retailer was able to offload close to $1 billion of merchandise.

The biggest seller of the day was the Amazon Echo Dot, an entry-level product that allows customers to access the company’s personal voice assistant, Amazon Alexa. With a 30% discount, it outsold thousands of other heavily discounted items, propelling Amazon to a 60% increase in revenue over the previous Prime Day in 2016.

At triple the sales of a normal day, it’s fair to say Amazon Prime Day is big – but just how big, exactly?

How Does Amazon Prime Day Compare?

Set up to reward Amazon’s roughly 80 million Prime subscribers once a year, the $1 billion number is pretty impressive even on a grander scale.

Here are the e-commerce numbers for Black Friday and Cyber Monday for all U.S. retailers in 2016:

Shopping DayRetailerE-commerce sales% Increase (from prev. year)
Amazon Prime Day (2017)Amazon$1 billion (est.)60%
Black Friday (2016)All U.S. Retailers$3.3 billion22%
Cyber Monday (2016)All U.S. Retailers$3.5 billion12%

The fact that Prime Day revenue comes from only one retailer makes it quite impressive – especially considering the day falls in the heat of summer, rather than the holiday shopping season. The 60% growth figure is compelling as well, showing that Prime Day could eventually be the biggest U.S. shopping day of the year.

Singled Out by Alibaba

While Amazon Prime Day favors comparably in the U.S. market, it doesn’t even close when looking at single-day events abroad. That’s because since 2009, Chinese e-commerce leader Alibaba has used the Singles’ Day “holiday” to promote sales during the slow period leading up to the Lunar New Year season.

In 2016, Alibaba raked in a whopping $17.8 billion of revenue from Singles’ Day alone.

See the steady growth of the event below:

Alibaba Singles' Day Revenues over time

The concept of setting a global record for e-commerce sales on Singles’ Day sounds a bit strange to us Westerners, but the hype around Singles’ Day is no joke.

The holiday is now a full-on festival in China, with star-studded ceremonies kicking off the 24-hour sales period. For last year’s event, even Kobe Bryant, David and Victoria Beckham, and band OneRepublic made appearances to help ring it in.

A Prime Opportunity

During just the first five minutes of Singles’ Day in 2016, shoppers spent as much money ($1 billion) as Amazon’s entire 30-hour event in 2017.

While that may seem daunting to match, Jeff Bezos has built his tech empire from taking advantage of big opportunities such as this. As a result, it’s likely that Bezos and Amazon both see Singles’ Day as something to emulate – a full-blown festival that could ring in over $10 billion in revenue in one day for Amazon.

After all, it’s already been done once by Jack Ma, so why can’t it be done again in North America?

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