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And that’s a wrap! Amazon Prime Day was another success for the eCommerce giant, check out our exclusive coverage of results first.
Shoppers came ready to open up their wallets on Prime Day. Revenue jumped nearly 600% compared to the daily average in the 20 days leading up to the two-day event, an increase that was almost double that of product views (+353%) and unit sales (+365%). To help understand consumer behavior driving this Prime Day performance, we used Shopper Intelligence, our eCommerce Intelligence platform, to break down trends on a category and brand level, with exclusive insights from our industry experts.
Amazon Prime Day has become an annual summer event that boosts online shopping at an otherwise historically slow time of year. Due to COVID-19, Amazon was forced to push Prime Day 2020 from July to October last year. However, in 2021, it returned to its summer slot.
This year’s Amazon Prime Day results show successes throughout each stage of the purchase funnel. Growth in unit sales increased by 32% year-over-year (YoY), exceeding product views, which jumped 30% during the same period. The increase in product views indicates that consumers know what they want and are, therefore, browsing less before they buy. The 36% revenue growth YoY shows that shoppers are spending more on purchases than last year.
Categories like Grocery & Gourmet with high purchase frequency, broad assortment, low price points, and high customer loyalty, experienced the highest conversion rates (CVRs). These types of categories make less revenue on a product-by-product basis than categories like electronics with bigger ticket items.
In our analysis of Amazon Prime Day results, we’ll start with lower-priced, high CVR categories and work our way up and go big with larger ticket items.
Growth was slow for Grocery & Gourmet. In fact, the unit sales lift – a measure of Prime Day relative to daily averages 20 days prior to Prime Day – was 8 percentage points (ppts) lower than last year.
On the other hand, purchases for the Chewing & Bubble Gum subcategory grew 97% YoY. That’s nearly twice the growth rate than that of its peers, indicating increased stickiness and successful penetration for Amazon’s grocery category as a whole.
However, we don’t suspect that discounts are fueling the revenue increase. After all, gum discounts aren’t too significant and sometimes don’t happen (e.g. Orbit Bubblemint Resealable bag stayed at $6.68 in the days leading up to and during the event).
So, what’s driving the revenue increase?
As shoppers buy bigger ticket items on amazon.com, they’re likely adding last-minute gum purchases to their virtual shopping carts.
Prior to COVID, gum was usually an in-store, impulse buy at checkout. Now the trend is shifting online and the Chewing & Bubble Gum category is a big beneficiary of Prime Day.
Fastest Growing Grocery & Gourmet Categories
Amazon.com, Desktop, Mobile Web & Mobile App, June 21 – 22 2021 vs. Oct. 13-14 2020
Cleaning tools had the largest YoY growth for both the “Prime Day Lift” (+23.8%) and total unit sales (51.2%) within the Health & Household category. This growth was largely driven by increased sales in tools like O-Cedar and Swiffers. The lift in Prime Day sales for Household Cleaning was only up slightly (+2.3% YoY), but unit sales grew over 16%, indicating that consumers are less motivated by discounts but buying more cleaning products in general.
The lift for dishwashing products decreased 12.5%, the most of any subcategory, which can be attributed to the reopening of restaurants and more people dining outside the home.
Dog food brands during Prime Day 2021 saw sales increase a whopping 81% YoY. Prime Day unit sales were 2.6 times higher than the average unit sales of the previous 20 days. This is an increase from 1.5 times last year.
Top Pet Food Brands – Prime Day 2021 Unit Performance
Amazon.com, Unit Sales, Desktop, Mobile Web & Mobile App, Oct 13, 2020 vs. June 21, 2021
Hill’s Science Diet ranked second for growth in unit sales (+677% YoY). Blue Buffalo is the only brand to see a decline which could be related to shoppers choosing Hill’s brands instead – in May 2021, 10.6% of Blue Buffalo viewers cross-shopped Hill’s.
With more than four million units sold over Prime Day 2021, Amazon’s Vitamins & Supplements sales grew 44% YoY. With returning customers making up 78% of users, sales primarily reflected those who already shopped on amazon.com, not new business – aligning with the category’s high Subscribe & Save rates.
Weight loss products had the highest share of new users (49%), reflecting limits to the duration of use for the product. Weight loss products, unlike other vitamins and supplements, which are taken nearly every day, are typically used for a few weeks or months, the duration of a diet. Many people begin diets at the start of summer. Plus, after a less active year, there is higher demand for these types of products.