The summer stretch between Independence Day and kids returning to school used to be a commercial doldrum—a period to be weathered rather than embraced. But that changed last year with Amazon moving its Prime Day sales event to July, giving the summer a new e-commerce anchor.
Amazon Prime Day 2022—3 ways brands can benefit
Where Amazon goes, other e-tailers follow. Hours after Amazon announced that this year’s Prime Day will take place on July 12 and 13, Target followed suit, declaring that its “Deal Days” would run from July 11 through the 13th. Walmart ran its equivalent sale during the first weekend of June but other e-commerce sites typically try to stream off Amazon’s big tentpole with their own sales.
The Harris Poll surveyed consumers in June to better understand Prime Day’s draw. One thing is clear: Shoppers seem poised to spend big next month. While a majority (56%) of those who have or had an Amazon Prime account (the company’s subscription service that enables customers to access Prime Day sales, among other perks) said that they shopped on Amazon during last year’s Prime Day, 70% of current subscribers and those interested in joining are eyeing this year’s sales. And 82% of current Prime members said that they plan to spend the same amount or more during this year’s sales. Last year’s bonanza scored Amazon more than $11 billion in sales—a figure it could eclipse this month.
We found three trends that can benefit companies trying to ride the Prime Day wave:
Mars and Venus have different agendas
The gender splits on prospective Prime shoppers are instructive. While women more often report having Prime accounts (67%-62%), men more often report that they engaged in last summer’s big sale (58%-55%). Prospectively, more men are planning to ramp up their spending for this year’s Prime Day: 42% versus 32% of women.
At the same time, women are driving interest in two of the three biggest product categories on which people plan to spend. We asked prospective Prime Day shoppers what they’ll be looking for and the three most popular categories were clothing (57%), personal electronics such as smartphones and earbuds (47%) and beauty products (43%). Women were markedly more often interested in clothing (61%-52%) and beauty products (52%-32%) while men want new personal electronics (52%-42%). The bottom line: Men are lining up to spend but smartly targeting women will also prove profitable.
Prospective shoppers are hunting small game this year
As mentioned, the biggest product categories encompass things people purchase for themselves rather than bigger-ticket items. So, for example, clothing, personal electronics and beauty products figure to fly off the virtual shelves most quickly. Big-ticket items, on the other hand, are far less popular: Only about a quarter of shoppers said they’re looking for indoor (27%) or outdoor (23%) furniture, for example, while a mere 11% are interested in major appliances such as refrigerators.
This is a byproduct of surging inflation: People were spending heavily on more expensive items in the teeth of the pandemic and those items in turn were harbingers of the inflationary surge. Now, with pandemic uncertainty bleeding into broader economic insecurity, shopping therapy will necessarily take place on a smaller scale.
The torch is passed to new generations of shoppers
If Prime Day 2022 eclipse last year’s, the under-40 set will lead the way. Gen Z (81%) and millennials (79%) more often state that they plan to shop on Prime Day compared to the overall population (70%); they also report more frequently that they plan to spend more (47% and 46% respectively versus 36% of the overall population). They’re also more likely (57% and 68%, respectively) than the population overall (53%) to wait until Prime Day for certain purchases.
What are they looking for? Clothing, personal electronics and beauty products are their top three and in larger numbers than older cohorts. But they also have some idiosyncratic interests: Gen Z and millennials like toys and games (48% and 45%, respectively, versus 35% of the overall population). They’re also more often interested in bigger-ticket items: household electronics such as televisions (45% and 46% versus 38%) and even indoor furniture (43% and 37% versus 27%), perhaps a reflection of where they are in life—moving into their first solo places or furnishing their first family homes. Perhaps not surprisingly, they’re also splurgers: While 50% of respondents said that they buy products on Prime Day they don’t ordinarily purchase, Gen Z (62%) and millennials (64%) lead that group. The message for e-tailers is clear: Aim young.
Amazon practically invented a new shopping season with its summer Prime Day. Other companies who take cues from these trends now have a chance to benefit from the trail Amazon has blazed.