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Amazon Prime Day 2018: Consumers cross-check more, plan more, but still buy and spend more in Europe and the US, says study

By Paul Skeldon August 9, 2018 - 5:47 am

Awareness of Amazon Prime Day is high worldwide, but it is in Europe and the US where it really drives sales, according to a new study.

Research by Periscope By McKinsey, conducted in the US, UK, France, Germany and Italy, found that consumers are spending more, on more items, and online shopping behaviour continues to grow in sophistication.

The survey of 3,000 consumers found awareness of Amazon Prime Day is very high with all countries in the survey reporting over 80% awareness with the exception of France at just 63%.

Looking at the continued decline of purely offline shopping, the US trails other countries in its adoption of the online experience with 10% saying they only shop offline.  T

his is more than double other countries, where the average is 4.5%.  All countries reported that a mix of online and offline was their dominant way to shop but an average 16% stated they mostly shop online.  Germany and the UK led the way in this regard with 21% and 17% respectively.

More participation and spending in Amazon Prime Day

According to the results, the US (41%) and Italy (39%) showed the greatest shopper participation in this year’s event.  Based on our previous annual surveys, Amazon Prime Day participation has multiplied year on year in every country across 2015-2018.  Participation had increased a typical 4-5x, with the greatest increase in the UK with a multiple of 6.8.

According to Amazon, Prime members worldwide purchased more than 100 million products during this year Prime Day event.

Looking specifically at spending, every country spent more than in 2017.  The biggest move was in the UK where 59% of shoppers spent ‘a bit more’ or ‘much more’, this was closely followed by France (57%) and Germany (54%).  There are also signs the US is becoming more constrained in its spending as the top country where shoppers say they ‘spent the same’ at 40%.

Shoppers are also buying more items with a majority in every country stating they bought “a bit more” or “much more” product than in 2017.  The greatest shift was in France with 62% falling into these categories, followed by the UK (57%), Italy (54%), Germany (49%) and the US (46%).

The sales competition

Whilst Amazon Prime Day may be going from strength to strength, it has lots of online competition when it comes to other sales events.  For respondents, Cyber Monday is widely regarded as the top named sale event competitor with an average 44% saying they participate, though it was as high as 65% in the US.  In Germany, Mega Monday was the next most participated event (10%), but in the US (30%), UK (21%), Italy (9%) and France (8%) it is Free Shipping Day, which celebrates its 10thanniversary in 2018.  Whilst many feel they get a great deal at Amazon Prime Day, the results show a sophistication in some markets where the convenience of using a single marketplace, and low prices, is not enough to keep them from shopping in ‘other’ places.

Shoppers are getting smarter

‘Consumer Electronics’ was the number one shopping category this Amazon Prime Day with an average 48% of shoppers buying these goods.  ‘Books, Movies and Music’ (34%), ‘Clothing and Accessories’ (37%) and ‘Toys’ (28%) also featured highly in all countries.  ‘Beauty and Fragrance’ also performed well with an average 28%, followed by ‘Kitchen Appliances’ at 26%.

Looking at how consumers shopped, those in the UK, US and Italy described themselves as being more planned in their approach to Amazon Prime Day 2018, whereas 53% in France and 48% in Germany considered themselves to be more spontaneous.

But despite some spontaneity, consumers are getting smarter about checking prices outside Amazon before committing to their purchases.  On average 62% of shoppers now check ‘a couple’ or ‘several’ of their prices.  European countries were much more likely to check prices, with France recording the most consumers likely to check several prices (44%).

“There is no doubt that Amazon Prime Day keeps gaining in popularity with huge global awareness, and multiplying participation every year. Shoppers are spending more at Prime Day but they are getting smarter, they are becoming increasingly price aware, and more willing to see what else is available elsewhere online.  It is a huge opportunity to Amazon, but other retailers should take heed that with the right sales initiatives and understanding of their customers, they can keep them loyal and coming back for more. But there still is a significant group of shoppers that like to shop spontaneously. Retailers should see this as an opportunity, using personalized marketing and messages to increase the chances of showing shoppers an ‘unexpected delight’ that they will want to buy.”

– Channie Mize, Senior Vice President and Global Sector General Manager, Retail at Periscope By McKinsey

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