Amazon Prime Day is the new Black Friday, really?

For those of you who haven’t been exposed to the build-up advertising, Amazon Prime Day was a 24-hour promotion exclusively offered to its Prime members. The deals changed throughout the day and included 170 items. Some of the objectives of the day were to get as many of its own branded electronics into the hands of consumers, as well as boosting the number of Prime customers. The inaugural Prime Day was held last Wednesday, the 15th of July, to celebrate Amazon’s 20th birthday.

There have been several articles in the papers commenting that it proved a huge success for the company at a global level. Apparently it sold more units than on Black Friday, which last year reached the highest records in history! According to Greg Greely, the Amazon Vice President:

‘Worldwide order growth increased 266% over the same day last year and 18% more than Black Friday 2014’

Naturally curious, we in the OMD UK Insight team wondered if this was a phenomenon of the same calibre in the UK, so we conducted a nationally representative survey the day after Amazon Prime Day to find out more about levels of awareness of the day and to gain a better understanding of what Britons actually did.

Awareness of Amazon Prime Day was high and reached similar levels to Black Friday (81% claimed to be aware of Prime Day versus 86% for Black Friday). However, the number of people claiming to have done some shopping on Black Friday was over three times higher with two in five people claiming to have done so!  (39% versus only 12% claiming to have shopped on Amazon Prime Day).

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Is it starting to look like the event’s success might not be so comparable to Black Friday in the UK?

To understand more, we dug a bit deeper and asked respondents if they bought something for themselves or as a gift, and guess what? Buying for yourself was the clear winner for both days.

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For those who claimed to have done some shopping, the top three categories for Amazon Prime Day were consumer electronics (TVs, CD Players, Car Audio, GPS), electronics accessories and books, which are the usual top selling categories on the site. For Black Friday, consumer electronics was also number one, however it was closely followed by video games and video consoles.

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By all accounts the top seller of the day in the UK was the Amazon Fire TV Stick which was heavily reduced from £35 to £19.

In summary, it looks like awareness levels of Amazon Prime Day were high, however UK buzz didn’t follow the US’ lead.

The event itself is an interesting move from the e-commerce site to boost its number of Prime members. It suggests that they want to reposition themselves to be not only an e-commerce site but a major content provider as well. Time will tell us how successful this could be.

In the meantime don’t despair! It is only four months until Black Friday is back and we can start the fight for the best bargains again.

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Myriam Fernandez

Myriam is a natural born researcher helping to bring the voice of the customer into our clients’ business. Well rounded in quantitative and qualitative methodologies, Myriam pursues research to understand what people do and the whys behind it.

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