Amazon's Prime Big Deal Days: A Closer Look at Savings and Shopping Trends

The holiday season on Amazon has officially kicked off! Prime Big Deal Days, try saying that three times fast, concluded their two-day event from October 10 to 11, which resulted in savings of over $1 billion. Notably, this year saw more Prime members shopping compared to the same event last year. Surprisingly, there was no mention of the total dollars spent, but it was revealed that more than 25 million items were sold (compared to the 375 million items sold worldwide during Prime Day 2023). Overall, Amazon considers this event a success, but apparently not the bonanza we saw in July.

Truth be told, this isn't all that surprising, especially considering my observation that there seemed to be fewer deals and less PR surrounding them (aside from the big ticket item). I did notice a few featured items, especially on Day 1, which were significant purchases, albeit well-discounted but still quite expensive – examples being products like Vitamix and Dyson. According to Numerator data, the pattern was similar to what we saw in July, with a higher percentage of orders averaging less than $20 each, and a majority of households (55%) placing two or more orders during the event. Approximately 40% of households spent at least $50, and the average household expenditure tallied up to $124.09.

Amazon made mention of the top categories in their sales, which included Apparel, Beauty, Home, and Toys. Specifically, they mentioned popular items such as Amazon devices, a consistent favorite during these sales, AirPods Pro, BISSELL Little Green, and Crest 3D Whitestrips, all of which are frequently big sellers – and that I always see in PR for these sale days. A special shoutout to Laniege Lip products which are always highlighted now).

There's a slight variation in the report from Numerator, which identified household essentials as a top category purchased, ranking just behind Apparel and Home (instead of Beauty). Numerator also conducted consumer surveys, revealing that a majority (45%) purchased items they had been waiting to go on sale, while only 27% bought gifts for the upcoming holiday season.

A few more things I noted reading these results.

  1. Gifting was not the focus of the results documentation from Amazon but rather it was noted that this was “just the start of the holiday shopping season.”

  2. Several points were made about *how* deliveries were made (electric delivery by Rivian), or consumer selected Amazon Day delivery choice, resulting in saving on carbon emissions and two million boxes. I also noticed several mentions in their recap regarding the speed with which the deliveries were accomplished (the fastest being a pasta attachment for a KitchenAid and a canning cookbook delivered in 54 minutes in Ohio).

  3. Independent sellers (3P) were highlighted as part of Prime Big Deal Day success, as was the initial opportunity for consumers to shop beyond using Buy with Prime.

As these events become more and more popular and expected, retailers will continue to be challenged to raise the bar on their offerings, their membership perks or what they are giving back. Much like we see with overall brand messaging currently, it is not enough to assume brand loyalty and worth without ensuring that consumers understand WHY you are valuable to them. Retailers also run the risk of consumer fatigue with too many events to watch for. There is also something to be said that consumers are being trained to wait for more and better deals later in the season which is perhaps why gift purchasing was not at the forefront yet. In any case, this is the start of an always interesting quarter for marketers (and consumers).