Bizrate Insights· Author
Shopping 101: Everyone likes a sale
Most shoppers subscribe to the theory, “If a retailer has a sale and there’s something I want or need, I’ll probably make a purchase.” This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Amazon continues to tap into this thinking as they did during their October Prime Day event.
According to Amazon, Amazon Prime members saved more than $1 billion during Prime Big Deal Days October 10-11. Ironically, if the press coverage is any indication, we are not seeing Amazon shouting from the rooftops. They did report that this year’s fall Prime Day-like discount bonanza “outpaced” last year’s event, though not by how much. According to their press release on October 10th, more than 25 million items were purchased.
Bizrate Insights conducted both pre- and post-Prime Day surveys this year. The following baseline numbers represent the audience we surveyed to support our findings. The survey consisted of eight questions about Prime Day’s impact and what lies ahead for the remainder of the holidays.
|# surveyed||% Prime members|
Q1. Were shoppers interested in the October Prime Day event?
Just over half (55%) had at least some interest in the event, which is significant. But what also matters is that 45% had limited or no interest or weren’t even aware of the event. This leads me to conclude that if someone has a sale and puts as much advertising muscle behind it as Amazon, shoppers will step up and purchase as they did. But despite that push, many shoppers will still stay on the sidelines.
Q2. What did shoppers think about Prime Day in October?
41% of survey respondents say Amazon Prime Days met their expectations. Disappointment, however, came in many shapes and sizes, starting with the 21% who were not pleased with the offering and 20% who felt Amazon offered fewer products than in previous years. Beyond these stronger sentiments, higher prices were cited by 11%. Stock-related perceptions were also noted, with 10% saying deliveries would take longer than usual. 8% said they purchased products as they might be out of stock later, and 6% encountered out-of-stocks as they were shopping. Ultimately, the fundamentals determine satisfaction, starting from the assortment to whether or not products of interest are in stock.
Q3. What did shoppers do during Prime Days, and what does it mean?
Looking at shopper behavior revealed that Prime Days weren’t about getting a head start on holiday shopping or making one’s way through a holiday gift list, as only 13% reported buying a gift. Instead, it was all about self-consumption, as the top behavior cited came from the 27% of people who bought at least one thing for themselves, more than double the number who identified themselves as gift-givers.
One in four consumers searched for particular brands, and 22% purchased on their mobile devices. 16% suggesting they used a mobile app to purchase. 11% admitted they bought both sale and full-price merchandise. And only 11% acknowledged making an impulse purchase. While 8% said they purchased from multiple marketplace sellers, the Amazon PR machine reported that more than 150 million items were purchased from third-party sellers.
Q4. Did shoppers spend beyond Amazon?
Our survey looked at purchases on Amazon and from other retailers. Looking at them side by side reveals that when a shopper finds the right items, they will buy regardless of location. The numbers indicated that 45% purchased on Amazon, while 29% bought from other retailers. Knowing that they likely didn’t have the same marketing push or only some retailers chose to compete, this 29% number seems impressive.
Q5. Did shoppers outlay big dollars?
Spending was mainly in the $100 or below segment, consistent with industry research and the types of products being purchased. These findings were based on 445 Amazon purchasers and 287 who purchased on other retail sites.
Numerator highlighted that the average order size during these two days was $53.47, so spending via our survey appears to be in line.
Q6. What categories were top-of-mind for shoppers?
Apparel topped the list of categories likely to be considered for purchase in our Pre-Prime Day survey, with 47% indicating their interest. Other buying categories of interest included toys/hobbies (36%), consumer electronics (34%), housewares (33%), and health and beauty at 32%.
Ultimately, a broad range of categories was purchased in October, with apparel topping the list of Amazon purchases. Health and beauty, often a replenishment category, saw strong performance. Housewares comes in number three. Toys/hobbies and consumer electronics are often highly promoted and may have both personal and gifting interest as they round out the top five.
Q7. Do any retailers beyond Amazon capture shopper attention?
A positive for competing retailers is that 39% cited shopping from a retailer not on this list. An additional seventy-six retailers were mentioned, and topping the list were Bath & Body Works (12), Graco (5), Temu (6), and Sam’s Club (4), along with several others receiving a nod or two. Similar to what we saw in Bizrate Insight’s pre-prime day survey, Walmart and Target would be the recipients of buying for the second set of sale days.
Looking back to our pre-event survey, retailers with the best shot at being considered were Amazon’s chief competitors, including Walmart at 74% and Target at 63%. Specialty and department stores were also high on the list, including Best Buy (44%), Kohl’s (36%), The Home Depot (35%) and Lowe’s (31%). While the list was formidable, it is interesting that shoppers had other favorite brands they hoped would be promoted in October. Topping the list of those retailers were Bath & Body Works, warehouse clubs BJ’s and Sam’s Club, and department stores Dillard’s and JC Penney, along with Old Navy and Temu. Most of those were actually shopped in October as well.
Q8. Will shoppers adjust their holiday spending?
Like most of us, these holiday shoppers only have so much money. As we suspected, most shoppers surveyed will purchase about the same (64%) in the coming months. And in fact, 28% will buy less, reinforcing the belief that it’s just another sale or you had something I needed, so I bought it. We have seen from past Bizrate Insights 5-year research that at least 2 in 3 shoppers had taken advantage of a special deal on the day they made their purchase.
So, a sale will always be a winning formula if you need to generate buzz and bring in additional revenue. It may not change the total numbers, but an impact can be made. Just ask Amazon!