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It’s Prime Day! But does Amazon have the muscle to beat Black Friday?

14th Jul 2015
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Amazon is celebrating its 20th anniversary today with a one-day sales promotion that the ecommerce giant says will be bigger than Black Friday.

Prime Day kicks off for users of the premium service in the UK, US, Spain, Japan, Italy, Germany, France and Canada, and provides an interesting insight into the sway Amazon holds over global ecommerce that it believes the day will deliver more sales than last year’s Black Friday, in which the retailer sold more than 5.5 million items – 64 a second.

According to eDigitalResearch, it’s in a good position to do so. In a survey of 2,000 online Amazon Prime customers, almost half (42%) said they are planning to make a purchase as a result of the promotion. Over half of all online consumers (53%) had heard of the event, with awareness rising to a staggering 75% amongst Amazon Prime customers alone.

And the one-off nature of the event is likely to drive sales up even further.  13% of respondents in eDigitalResearch’s survey said they often purchase more than intended during one day sales events – a figure that increases to 34% when looking at Amazon Prime customers only.

 “After the overwhelming success of Black Friday for retailers like Amazon, it’s not surprising that they’re trying to re-capture a surge in sales with the first ever Prime Day,” says Chris Russell, chairman at eDigitalResearch.

“With their clear discounting and stock information, Amazon have always managed to work with a shopper’s emotions in order to evoke positive buying behaviour. With Prime Day, they’re appealing to our fear of missing out, as well as our need to grab a bargain. However, it’s clear that for some shoppers, these sorts of…events have a negative emotional reaction and could potentially harm the image of the brand”.

Russell’s comment was in relation to the portion of respondents in eDigitalResearch’s survey that felt Prime Day was an opportunity for Amazon to shift unwanted stock, while others felt the event was an exercise in manipulate them into buying certain products.

Discounts are expected across a range of products during the course of the day, including Amazon products such as Kindles and Amazon Fire tablets.

However, leading analysts at Forrester have downplayed the day’s significance and likely impact.

“Amazon rarely, if ever, does promotions like this - and given it's only one day, and only available to Prime members, purportedly on a finite number of items - it is unlikely to make too huge of an impact on the business," says principal analyst, Sucharita Mulpuru.

“If we see more of these promotions come along however, then it might imply a bigger statement about Amazon's demand generation issues. But this is such a one-off, it's hard to do that."

Forrester forecasts ecommerce sales will top $334 billion in the US, and $172 billion in Europe, this year.

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