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Amazon says Prime Day was the biggest global shopping day in its history

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Amazon says that Tuesday’s Prime Day event was the biggest shopping day in its history.

Customers taking part in the event, exclusive to members of its subscription-based Prime scheme, outspent previous global records, including spending on Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the run up to Christmas.

In the UK, its best-selling product was the Amazon Echo – with one delivered in 14m and 8s to an address in Sutton Coldfield – while around the world it was the Echo Dot. Both are voice-controlled devices connected to the Amazon Alexa system. Amazon, an Elite retailer in IRUK Top500 research, also said that more people tried Prime on Tuesday than on any other day this year or in the run up to last Christmas.

“Prime members in the UK have loved Prime Day, in fact the day was our biggest day of the year so far and by 9pm customers had already ordered more items than Prime Day last year,” said Doug Gurr, UK country manager, Amazon. “Alexa devices have been particularly popular — Echo and Echo Dot have been our best-selling Prime Day products on, and we’re looking forward to many more customers being introduced to Alexa for the first time.”

Data from global marketing intelligence company Hitwise suggests that total visits to on Black Friday and Cyber Monday still eclipsed Amazon Prime Day in this country, at 49m visits and 47.5m respectively, compared to 44.4m visits on Prime Day.

But it found that the number of transactions were slightly higher on Prime Day, at 3.72m compared to 2016’s Black Friday (3.68m) and Cyber Monday (3.19m).

This means that once online shoppers reached Amazon UK’s site, they were converting at a rate of 8.4%, compared to Black Friday (7.5%) and Cyber Monday (6.7%).

With promotions starting at 6pm on the previous day (July 10), Amazon also saw a further 2.6m transactions processed on its UK site – 18% higher than the same day a week before (July 10).

“Whilst Cyber Week is still the largest online trading period in the UK, competition is intense with online shoppers browsing and comparing deals across multiple retailers,” said Nigel Wilson, managing director, Hitwise. “With Amazon differentiating itself with Prime Day, Amazon is seeing a higher cut-through rate with online sales conversions.”

Volo Commerce analysis found that merchants trading via Amazon saw a 24.3% uplift in gross merchandise value compared to the previous Tuesday – but that their GMV was down by 16.7% compared to Prime Day 2016. In the UK, shoppers spent 32% more on third-party goods on Prime Day compared to the previous Tuesday.

“Part of the reason for this might be the dominance of Amazon’s deals on its own technology – always prevalent on peak shopping days, but never more so than this one,” said Paul Watson, chief executive of Volo Commerce Volo Commerce.

“The best-selling item across the marketplace on the day was the Echo Dot, and Alexa powered gadgets, smart home tie-ins and Kindles dominated the front deals page. This shows that shopping habits remained largely unchanged in terms of what was purchased – electronics and tech goods, especially big ticket items that were discounted, saw an increase in sales, just like 2016.”

But data from Crealytics suggested that Prime Day had not made significant headway in the fashion sector. Andreas Reiffen, chief executive and founder of the search engine marketing company said: “Despite reports of prominent retailers such as M&S starting their sales to coincide with Amazon Prime Day, and others making concerted efforts to highlight the facilities that allow them to directly compete with the retail giant (for example same-day delivery), our data so far does not show a significant impact on the retail industry in general.

“Having monitored and analysed data points across metrics such as product prices, search volumes and associated conversions for a vast array of transactions, it’s clear the event did not live up to the hype – at least when its impact is measured across the variety of retailers using Google Shopping to promote their products.

“There were no more price increases or reductions than we would usually expect, and website revenues were stable. Google searches across our database did not increase for particular products highlighted as Amazon sale items and the majority of retailers did not feel the need to compete against the retail giant by offering additional discounts ­– although many were already promoting ongoing sales events prior to this Monday.

“One reason why our data may have shown such an apparent lack of impact from Prime Day is that Amazon has, to date, arguably failed to dominate the fashion sector, while much of our database covers major fashion retailers. So this spells good news for fashion outlets who can rest in the knowledge – for the time being at least – that Amazon is not yet a major competitor in this sector.”

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