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20% of Prime Day Regulars Spent $200 More Than Last Year

Prime Day shoppers were pretty pleased with their experience over Amazon’s two day deal-hunting extravaganza—and nearly one-third (31 percent) took advantage of the July “holiday” as an opportunity to “treat themselves,” according to a new report by A.T. Kearney, the global management consulting company.

Over Amazon’s biggest Prime Day yet, shoppers snapped up more than 175 million items, aided in part by an influx of customers partaking in the event for the first time. The 1,000 consumers participating in A.T. Kearney’s Amazon Prime Day 2019 Survey met the criteria of being an Amazon customer who purchased a marked-down deal on Prime Day.

Forty-three percent of the survey group were newbies to Prime Day this year, while the remaining 57 percent had shopped the event last year or multiple years in the past—indicating that Amazon seems to have significant runway in growing its signature mid-summer event. However, it’s entirely possible that a portion of that 43 percent signed up for new memberships just to get in on the deals intending to cancel their subscriptions sooner rather than later.

But most shoppers spent more this Prime Day versus tightening up their purse strings. Among consumers who are Prime Day “frequent flyers,” just 17 spent less money this year versus the 27 percent whose spending was consistent from last year, the 37 spent who shelled out as much as $100 more and the 20 percent whose purchases totaled $200 more than what they bought in 2018.

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This despite more consumers shopping around at Amazon rivals offering their own competitive sales, A.T. Kearney found. Just 40 percent of consumers confessed to checking out other deals in 2018, a figured that swelled to 61 percent this year. Nearly one third (31 percent) who looked elsewhere at retailers including Walmart, Target, Best Buy and Macy’s did end up springing for an Amazon deal.

Electronics are always popular over Prime Day—though its year-on-year share dropped from 29 percent to 22 percent—but the apparel category was a big gainer this year, drawing 15 percent of total Prime Day spending. That’s up from 5 percent in 2018, and reflective perhaps of Amazon’s efforts to promote key products and brands in the category, including an exclusive Levi’s launch. Footwear saw a 1 percent uptick as well as Amazon-touted deals on Crocs and other shoe styles.

National brands might not appreciate with Amazon’s private-label goods on Prime Day but consumers seem perfectly content to navigate the array of internal and external offerings, A.T. Kearney discovered. While 6 percent “would prefer” if Amazon didn’t promote its own stuff and 2 percent outright “resent” Prime Day being used as a vehicle to hawk the retail giant’s goods, 91 percent either appreciate Amazon-brand deals or at least understand what the company is trying to do.

And maybe that explains, at least partly, why 317 survey takers confessed to using Prime Day discounts as an opportunity to “treat themselves” as their primary motivation to shopping the retail event. Another 130 people are self-described regulars on Amazon who don’t view Prime Day as anything special. The two-day sale helped 115 shoppers snag good deals on household essentials. “Fear of missing out” was a factor for 35 consumers who wanted to know what all the Prime Day fuss was about, and for 54 people who didn’t want a great deal to pass them by.

With Amazon’s ease of use and breadth of offerings, “Today, it’s the platform itself which drives sales,” said A.T. Kearney consumer and retail practice manager Alex Fitzgerald, who co-authored the research.

“The findings of our Amazon Prime Day 2019 Survey explore understandings not only of the deals themselves, but how Amazon relates to its customers, and how consumers ideally want to relate to the transaction,” Fitzgerald added.

There’s a lesson to be learned from Amazon’s achievements in creating and dominating a mid-year holiday, noted Greg Portell, global lead partner in A.T. Kearney’s Consumer and Retail practice.

“The question remains: is this success unique to Amazon?” he asked. “And how can other retailers learn from the relationship Amazon has built with its customers, through Prime day 2019 and beyond, to translate some of that knowledge into their own successes?”