What was once an attempt to bring Black Friday shopping levels into the summer is slowly turning into an internet afterthought.
After half a decade of immense success, Amazon is slashing the discounts offered at its annual Prime Day super sale event (held this year on July 12-13). With the contest now rotating around the same calendar dates, Prime Day is quickly losing its novelty.
A wrinkle in Prime
Since 2015, Amazon’s Prime Day has boosted subscriptions and boosted sales during the historically quiet summer months. Call it an e-commerce Christmas without the hypoallergenic mail order tree. But traditional retailers like Walmart and Target have started running competing flash sales, and in 2018 and 2019, Amazon’s top competitors saw their Prime Day revenue jump 72%, according to the WSJ. This year, those same players are increasing discounts to eliminate excess inventory, meaning Prime members have less reason to stay home.
The event, previously launched with high-profile kickoff concerts by Taylor Swift, is now slowly slipping into the background of Amazon operations. New data shows that discounts on non-electronics are no bigger than a typical day on the site (both around 30%). And the bulk of promotions are increasingly reserved for Amazon devices like Fire TV and Alexa – products that obviously fetch higher margins for the mothership.
It’s hardly surprising that sales are now happening more during the day than during prime time:
- Amazon will make $7.7 billion in U.S. sales from Prime Day next month, up 17% from a year ago, according to Insider Intelligence forecasts. That’s well below the typical 65% revenue growth the company expects from the event, The Wall Street Journal Remarks.
- Last year’s average order size, meanwhile, fell to $54.15 from $58.77 the year before, while spend per item fell to $30.83 from $33.88. , according to research firm Numerator.
Complete : Prime Day isn’t the only area where Amazon can hit a ceiling. In an April earnings report, the company announced its slowest sales in about two decades. Meanwhile, an internal memo leaked to Vox last week revealed that the company plans to be on track to “exhaust the labor supply available in the US network by 2024” in its infamous rotating logistics and warehouse operations. After a pandemic boom, the business may be too big to keep growing. We’ll call this the cost of massive success.