Amazon Prime Day Estimates Suggest E-Commerce Sales Continue Soaring - TheStreet

Amazon Prime Day Estimates Suggest E-Commerce Sales Continue Soaring

From all indications, Amazon's Prime Day sales were up sharply relative to 2019's event, as were the sales of rivals holding their own promotional events.
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While Amazon.com  (AMZN) - Get Report hasn’t shared the final sales tally for its Prime Day event, Amazon’s data and third-party estimates point to strong growth relative to 2019.

E-commerce website Digital Commerce 360 estimates Amazon racked up $10.4 billion worth of sales globally on Oct. 13 and 14 as its Prime Day event unfolded. That represents a 45.2% increase relative to the $7.16 billion in sales estimated for Amazon’s July 2019 Prime Day event.

The estimate arrives a day after Amazon -- ever eager to highlight its work with small businesses -- disclosed that its marketplace sellers generated more than $3.5 billion in sales (a near-60% annual increase) across the 19 countries in which Prime Day was held on Oct. 13 and 14. The estimate doesn’t include sales occurring during India’s Prime Day event, which took place in August.

As Digital Commerce 360 notes, Amazon’s Prime Day sales tend to skew more towards direct sales to consumers relative to marketplace sales, due to the company’s heavy discounting and promotion of its own wares. Much like prior Prime Day events -- not to mention other major sales days, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday -- Amazon aggressively discounted and promoted its consumer electronics hardware, such as its Echo speakers and Fire TV sticks, during this year’s Prime Day.

As a result, Digital Commerce 360 estimates only 35% of Amazon’s Prime Day sales involved marketplace sellers -- up from 32% in 2019 but well below their share of Amazon’s annual e-commerce sales. Amazon disclosed last year that marketplace sellers accounted for 58% of its 2018 physical gross merchandise volume (GMV), up from 56% in 2017 and just 30% back in 2008.

Digital Commerce 360 also noted -- citing data from Salesforce.com  (CRM) - Get Report -- that many of Amazon’s rivals also saw major sales upticks as Prime Day unfolded, thanks to the running of their own promotions. Salesforce estimates sales on non-Amazon websites relying on its Commerce Cloud platform were up 69% globally and 76% in the U.S. on Oct. 13 relative to the first day of Amazon’s 2019 Prime Day event. Traffic was estimated to be up 51%.

Of course, such sales and traffic growth isn’t merely the result of promotions. Growth has accelerated sharply this year for a wide variety of online retailers and marketplaces -- everyone from Amazon and eBay  (EBAY) - Get Report, to Etsy  (ETSY) - Get Report and MercadoLibre  (MELI) - Get Report, to Wayfair  (W) - Get Report and Overstock  (OSTK) - Get Report -- as COVID-19 drives a major inflection in e-commerce activity, including among many consumers who had previously done most of their shopping in bricks-and-mortar stores.

In July, Amazon reported that its annual revenue growth accelerated to 40% in Q2 from 26% in Q1. Its North American segment’s growth rose to 43% from 29%, while its International segment’s growth rose to 38% from 18% (note: neither of these segments contain any revenue from Amazon Web Services, which saw 29% Q2 revenue growth).

Amazon, whose Q3 report arrives on the afternoon of Oct. 29, also guided for 24% to 33% Q3 annual growth. And if the company’s recent track record of comfortably topping its guidance is any sign, that outlook has a good chance of proving conservative.

Certainly, the disclosures and estimates being shared for Prime Day suggest e-commerce growth rates remain pretty elevated heading into the holiday season.