Amazon Prime Day sales paint a bleak picture

By Scoop
July 19, 2022 · less than 3 min read

What’s usually a day for treats became a chance to stockpile necessities.  

A sign of the times

Amazon Prime Day took place last Tuesday and Wednesday, and there was plenty of hype surrounding the various deals and cheap buys that were being made available to shoppers. For many, the bumper sales day couldn’t have come at a better time; inflation is at a 40-year high, and the cost of living is a crisis in motion.

The results from Prime Day, then, offer a real insight into consumer habits. And newsflash: It’s not all fun and games. In fact, popular items were things like dishwasher pods, snack packs, and diapers. Yet another stark warning that the economic downturn is biting us all.  

Need over want

Analysts at J.P. Morgan are forecasting a total Prime Day revenue of $5.6 billion. This is up just 5% on the previous year; in comparison to the year-on-year growth seen in 2020 (50%), and 2021 (9%), we have yet more evidence that consumers are tightening the purse strings.

The good news is that buying wasn’t quite as bad as the worst predictions. Amazon shifted 300 million items over the two-day sale period, making it the “biggest ever” in Amazon’s history. Yet the buying patterns saw big-ticket items ignored in favor of cheaper essentials. 58% of the 300 million items sold were under $20 – and only 5% were over $100.

It’s getting tougher to afford essentials, and Prime Day proved some welcome respite in the face of higher grocery costs. Melissa Burdick, President of Pacvue, captured the mood of a nation: “If they could’ve figured out how to give away gas, it would’ve been the best Prime Day ever.”

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