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How Prime Day buoyed the wider retail market, with 25% rise in transactions

A worker in an Amazon warehouse. Image courtesy of Amazon

Amazon Prime Day 2022 helped buoy the wider retail market and drive double-digit sales growth, as merchants across the world used interest in the annual sales event to boost their own sales.

According to data from ACI Worldwide among its merchant customers, overall transaction volumes increased by 25% with transaction values increasing by 20% compared with 2021, lifted by mobiles, electricals, and electronics, and despite a small lag in general retail products.

In the EU, there was a 21% increase in transaction volumes, with average transaction value (ATV) decreasing 15%, or $17, indicating European shoppers’ growing concern surrounding discretionary spending as EU inflation and energy costs continue to rise. 

The rise in sales also held up remarkably well compared with the onset of the pandemic in 2020, with a 26% rise in transaction volumes and 10% increase in the value. 

ACI’s market intelligence, derived from the transaction data from thousands of its merchant customers worldwide, attributed the sustained sales to the growing number of easier, more convenient and safer ways to pay, as well as cautious consumers emerging from the pandemic, hedging against growing inflation fears and economic uncertainty. 

“It is clear that omni-channel sales are now an integral part of our lives, and two years of living with COVID have left consumers much more comfortable shopping using a variety of payment methods across a variety of channels,” says Basant Singh, head of merchant, ACI Worldwide. “Despite this wide range of choice, we are witnessing a much more cautious approach from consumers, highlighting growing uneasiness with pessimistic economic indicators and pressure on their wallets.”

According to the data, electrical and electronic items were the most popular purchases, followed by general retail products. Electrical and electronics saw the value of transactions soar 90% on the first day, with the average transaction value (ATV) increasing by $275 (53%), compared with 2021 and 16% on day two with ATV rising by $238 (37%). Mobile phones and accessories were the most popular, with transaction values almost doubling to 96% on day one. 

Retail lagging, BNPL and mobile on the up

The retail sector showed mixed success. General retail saw a 64% increase on day one and 21% increase in volume on day two, with fashion experiencing a modest 13% growth over 2021 on the first day. There was a noticeable shift from “throw away” fashion towards longer lasting and durable items, confirming the growing consumer concerns over the economy and their finances.

ACI noted a 25% increase in transaction volumes for mobile devices, compared with a 15% rise for non-mobile devices. Mobile device ATV was flat compared with 2021, while non-mobile grew by 8%, or $9 – an indication that shoppers are becoming more comfortable with frequent mobile device purchases. However, non-mobile devices (i.e., desktops) still dominate bigger ticket items.

Traditional payment methods, credit and debit cards saw a 22% and 25% rise in transaction volume and value respectively. eWallet volumes saw a four% increase primarily due to saved in-app card details, and eWallets made it easier for shoppers to make purchases giving credit and debit cards an advantage.

Fraud Flat 

Fraud attempts throughout Prime Days remained flat, rising a modest 0.1% over 2021 figures, despite the surge in transactions and increased number of payment methods. Notably, fraud attempts on eWallets decreased by 0.2%.  

“The real success story throughout Amazon Prime Days has been consumer security,” says Erika Dietrich, head of fraud management and payments analytics, ACI Worldwide. “Despite shoppers buying more, paying more, and Prime Days being trailed for months, fraud attempts flatlined or faltered. It seems that enhanced merchant fraud management systems and improved customer security habits are having an impact. There is now a safer way to shop taking shape.”

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