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Prime Day Sales Record Bodes Well for Holiday Season

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If you’re sorting through everything you ordered during the Amazon Prime Day event last week, you’re not the only one.

Prime Day posted its biggest sales event ever with more than 375 million items sold. U.S. online sales reached $12.7 billion, an increase of 6.1% from last year.

Serving as an annual celebration of the launch of Amazon, the Prime Day tradition started in 2015 on Amazon’s 20th anniversary. 

This was the ninth Prime Day, running July 11-12, featuring deep discounts and exclusive deals for Prime members on a wide variety of items across Amazon’s store. 

Holiday shopping in July?

Amazon’s positioning of the Prime Day event in July creates an opportunity for shoppers to score deals on big-ticket items like electronics, appliances, and household essentials in the earlier days of the extended holiday shopping season. 

Traditionally, in the U.S., the summer months have only presented sales coinciding with and in support of the Fourth of July and Memorial Day weekends. Amazon’s event has created a distinct holiday signpost close to the midpoint of the year.   

And it’s not all Amazon. Big retailers such as Target, Walmart, and Best Buy have introduced their own extended sales events in July with Target Circle Week and “Black Friday in July,” creating a larger summer holiday shopping touchpoint for interested consumers.

Why 2023’s Amazon Prime Day was different

The timing of this year’s Prime Day couldn’t be better, with U.S. pay raises outpacing inflation for the first time in two years. That being said, budgeting to offset the increasing costs of goods remains on the mind of the average consumer. 

Deep discounts present an opportunity for budget-conscious shoppers to either get a jump on their holiday gift giving or snag great deals for themselves guilt-free by purchasing products at their historical lowest prices.

Also new this year, Amazon introduced its first discounts on travel, partnering with Priceline for discounts on booking hotels, with a Prime early access sale by invitation. 

Expanding into new categories via partnerships opens up near limitless possibilities for the future of Prime Day.  

A barometer for consumer behavior and sentiment

Economic stress, supply chain uncertainty, and position within the buyer’s journey can all be factors in a prospective customer’s willingness to spend. Events like Prime Day demonstrate the potential to break through those concerns with the right timing, the right messaging, and the right deals.  

A major sales event like Amazon Prime Day provides perspective on the current consumer mindset.

We found in our 2022 Global Consumer Report that enticing potential buyers with discount codes at checkout, free shipping and returns, and/or rewards programs are preferred incentives for customers when they’re on the fence about buying. Businesses would do well to keep this in mind for their ecommerce plans as the holiday season continues. 

The final word

This holiday shopping season is just getting underway, but it’s not too late to react to this encouraging sign that reduced overall consumer spending can still mean record sales. 

Amazon is carrying this message over to its back-to-school campaign as the next front for competing over shoppers’ lighter wallets. 

Prime Day’s success in 2023 serves as a key indicator that despite economic uncertainty  consumers are willing to spend when presented with discounts that are too good to pass up.

Pablo Gallaga avatar

Pablo Gallaga is a Senior Manager of Content Marketing at BigCommerce where he focuses on thought leadership content. His years of experience in tech, from startups to enterprise, inform his ecommerce insights.