Unpacking Amazon’s Fall Prime Day: Sales Results, Client Data, & Key Takeaways

Ryan Faist

Ryan Faist, Channel Key
February 28, 2023

The results are in – and they’re mixed. According to Bank of America, Amazon’s much-anticipated Prime Early Access Sale generated an estimated $5.7 billion in revenue. This is a 24% dip from Summer Prime Day, which brought in $7.5 billion. However, despite the decline in spending, the 48-hour event was a sales boost for many brands. Amazon reported that Prime members ordered more than 100 million items from its selling partners, most of which are small and medium-sized businesses.

Perhaps more telling is what products sold well. Amazon confirmed that customers purchased more than 8 million toys in the U.S. during Prime Early Access Sale – a sign that the holiday shopping season has begun.

A third-party report by Numerator found similar results, stating that nearly a third of shoppers used the sale to buy holiday gifts. According to their data, 69% of customers who purchased gifts say they completed less than half of their holiday shopping, and 95% say they’re likely to shop on Amazon again for this year’s holiday items.

Channel Key can confirm that some of our best-performing clients during Prime Early Access Sale focused on giftable products. Below are a few notable client wins for the 48-hour event:

  • A brand partner in the Home & Kitchen category enjoyed a 76% lift from Summer Prime Day to Prime Early Access Sale
  • A brand partner in the Office Supplies category saw their second-highest sales day on the first day of the Prime Early Access Sale
  • A brand partner in the Pet Supplies category saw an 87% sales jump on day two of Prime Early Access Sale compared to day two of Summer Prime Day

Amazon’s Prime Early Access Sale fell short of forecasts, but it was far from a flop. Many participating brands enjoyed a strong sales spike compared with the same 48-hour period in 2021. The chart below shows the year-over-year sales for many Channel Key clients during Prime Early Access Sale.

Channel Key client performance data.

Several reasons might have contributed to Prime Early Access Sale’s soft performance. One could simply be buyer fatigue. This is the first time Amazon has hosted two Prime sale events in a calendar year, with the previous one only a few months ago. Inflation could also have played a role. U.S. shoppers are experiencing rising prices on just about everything, which almost always deters spending. Another possibility is that Amazon failed to market the event effectively. “Prime Early Access Sale” might not have been the most compelling name for a mega sale. “Prime Day,” on the other hand, is more recognizable and easy-to-remember. Perhaps if Amazon had called it “Fall Prime Day,” more shoppers would’ve participated.

Channel Key Takeaway:

The most important takeaway from Prime Early Access Sale is that it appears to have jump-started the holiday shopping season. Channel Key clients that saw the greatest success were willing to offer competitive discounts on giftable items. We will continue to promote this strategy as our brand partners transition fully into the holiday season. Channel Key recommends that sellers pay attention to the shift in products that were sold during Prime Early Access Sale compared to Summer Prime Day. This might be a leading indicator for the marketing and promotional changes you’ll need to make for Black Friday/Cyber 5. In other words, items that sold well during Prime Early Access Sale could perform even better over the next two months with holiday messaging, advertising, and promotions.

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