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Prime Day Shoppers Will Seek Out Fashion Deals, Get a Jump on Back-to-School

Despite Amazon’s penchant to push deals on its own electronic devices throughout Prime Day, fashion is expected to outpace the rest of the pack during the e-commerce giant’s midsummer shopping extravaganza.

Nearly three out of 10 (29.7 percent) consumers said they expect to purchase or browse within apparel, footwear and accessories, according to a survey from Coresight Research, ahead of entertainment like electronics (29.3 percent) and books, movies, music and video games (also 29.3 percent).

These three categories are expected to far outperform the remaining sectors analyzed. Home improvement or garden products and furniture, furnishings or home decor products both came in at 21.6 percent, while 21.3 percent expect to buy or search for health products and toys or games.

This year, Amazon is promoting Prime Day discounts of 40 percent on select styles from Levi’s and baby apparel from Burt’s Bees and HonestBaby; deals of up to 30 percent on styles from Amazon Essentials and Champion; and up to 25 percent markdowns on select styles from Shopbop, including APL, English Factory and Free People. Deals are also present for brands like Calvin Klein, Crocs, Skechers and more.

Although fashion didn’t take the lead in 2021 Prime Day spending, some numbers suggested that it was pretty close to doing so. Last year, research from tech market research company Numerator that studied more than 30,000 Prime Day orders, said the categories consumers purchased most included health and beauty (28 percent), consumer electronics (28 percent), household essentials (27 percent) and apparel and shoes (27 percent).

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This year, Amazon is hoping that its private-label push in fashion will draw more consumers. Among consumers who purchased apparel and footwear in 2021, 33 percent said their purchase was Amazon-branded, Numerator said.

In the Coresight Research survey, conducted on June 20, 22.5 percent of the 273 shoppers surveyed said that they expect to make a purchase on Amazon.com during Prime Day, which takes place July 12-13. But more shoppers seem to be conflicted—42.2 percent of U.S. consumers said they expect to browse for deals during Prime Day but do not know whether or not they will buy.

As was the case prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, Prime Day could represent the return of the back-to-school shopping season. Coresight’s separate back-to-school survey of U.S. parents, indicated that almost half (48.8 percent) of respondents said they would look out for promotional events such as Prime Day and Target’s Deal Days in order to make purchases before their children return to school.

Prime Day has been a back-to-school staple since its inception in 2015 before the pandemic forced Amazon to postpone the event to October in 2020. That year, the occasion took on a different role, instead kicking off the holiday season and pulling seasonal sales forward. Last year, Prime Day returned to the summer, albeit in June, when Prime members ordered more than 600,000 backpacks and 1 million laptops.

This year, Amazon is touting back-to-school savings of up to 45 percent on dorm room essentials; and 30 percent on select backpacks from Kipling, Kenneth Cole and Travelon.

But the success of this year’s Prime Day may depend on whether its deep discounts and deals attract inflation-weary shoppers. As many as 76.6 percent of U.S. parents expect inflation to limit their back-to-school spending, Coresight said. Some 48.8 percent intend to seek out promotional events such as Prime Day to make their money stretch further.

Although the shopping event has been a massive revenue generator and retention outlet in the past, it doesn’t drive the overall growth at Amazon that it used to. During its 2021 second quarter, Prime Day contributed approximately 0.4 percentage points to a 2.7 percent year-over-year revenue increase across the entire business and a 13 percent online-store sales bump. From that quarter on, online-store sales declined for three quarters in a row, illustrating how difficult it has been for Amazon to compared against outsized 2021 spending amid the U.S. dispersal of nationwide stimulus payments.

Prime membership has by and large stayed consistent throughout the pandemic, even as the price of the annual subscription jumped from $119 to $139. As many as 54.9 percent of consumers in March 2022 said they were Prime members, up from 53.1 percent in March 2021 and up from 54.3 percent in March 2020. In March 2022, 25.7 percent of consumers said they access to Amazon Prime membership benefits through someone else in their household, while 19.4 percent said they did not have access to an Amazon Prime membership.

The eighth Prime Day features two noteworthy firsts: the introduction of year-round brick-and- mortar discounts on groceries and the piloting of buy now, pay later (BNPL). Amazon Prime members now get 20 percent off select everyday essentials year-round at Amazon Fresh stores. The e-commerce giant is putting its partnership with Affirm to good use, making the BPNL option available to shoppers who make at least $50 purchases of eligible items. BNPL will continue beyond Prime Day, suggesting that Amazon will eventually make BNPL an Amazon Prime or Amazon Pay perk.