Amazon Prime Big Deal Days sales hold steady for other retailers too

Shoppers waited patiently for deals throughout the two-day event and were nudged by predictive AI, according to Salesforce.

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Sales during October ecommerce promotions this week held steady with last year’s pre-holiday boost. Once again, ecommerce sellers were in synch with sales created by Amazon’s Prime Big Deal Days event, held this year on October 10 and 11. Although Amazon’s deals were exclusive to Prime members, retailers in many categories offered similar deals that boosted sales, according to data from Salesforce that measured non-Amazon ecommerce retailers.

In the U.S., sales were more or less flat (-1%) across the two days, compared to Amazon’s Prime promotional days in October 2022.

Predictive AI. AI moved the needle on sales with product recommendations, the Salesforce numbers showed.

General handbags (15%) and active apparel (15%) were the categories with the highest U.S. order share for ecommerce sites that used product recommendations driven by predictive AI.

The highest AI order share growth year-over-year was seen in skincare products, up 26%.

“AI was a game-changer during Amazon’s manufactured holiday this year, driving significant sales growth for digital retailers who used it effectively to engage and influence shoppers,” said Rob Garf, VP and GM of retail at Salesforce.

Shoppers waited patiently. Although sales at non-Amazon retailers this year were nearly the same as last year’s Amazon Prime promotional period, the second day of this year’s period saw a relative bump over the first day.

U.S. day one sales were down 4% YoY and day two sales were up 1%, indicating that digital consumers held out for better deals on the second day.

Top U.S. categories. Top performing categories in U.S. online sales across both days were: sporting goods (+26%), general footwear (+9%) and active apparel and footwear (+3%).

Discounting. Discounts were up 5% in the U.S. YoY. The steepest discounts were seen in general apparel (28%), home dining and furniture (22%) and active apparel and footwear (17%).

Global picture. Global online sales were also nearly the same as last year — +2% YoY on day one, -1% on day two.

Higher spending by European shoppers was largely driven by inflation (the average selling price was up 13%). But shoppers in this region also increased their average units per transaction this year, up 4% from last year.

The countries with the highest discounts across both days this year were the U.S. (20% discounts), Canada (also 20%) and Spain (17%).

Why we care. The consistency between this year and last year shows that ecommerce marketers have a proven gameplan for leveraging Amazon Prime promotional buzz. The success of last year’s October promotions, rebounding from supply-chain issues coming out of the pandemic, have been replicated and locked in as a permanent part of the holiday calendar for the foreseeable future. Ecommerce marketers are taking note of this shift in timing.

Dig deeper: Rise of the empowered consumer: Navigating shifting consumer behavior

About the author

Chris Wood
Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country's first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on "innovation theater" at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.

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