Is Amazon Prime Day Really That Big Of A Deal?

Benjy Boxer
Jul 12, 2016 · 3 min read

This article originally appeared here

Amazon Prime Day 2016 is lauded as its “biggest event ever!” on Amazon.com. It’s routinely compared to Black Friday, which is traditionally the biggest shopping day in America. There are some great deals to be found, but as an Amazon Referral business found in 2015, it’s pretty clear that Prime Day doesn’t compare to America’s favorite shopping Friday or Cyber Monday.

The anonymous data provider referred approximately 76,000 purchases to Amazon in 2015. Although this is a very small percentage of the whopping $64 billion in net product sales in North America in 2015 and represents referral traffic only (20% of Amazon’s traffic), it’s a decent representation of purchases on Amazon in 2015.

Cyber Monday Dominates Units Purchased For The Amazon Referral Business

In 2015, Amazon Prime Day was on July 15th. On that day, the referral business saw a 3.1x standard deviation increase in units sold versus the average day in 2015. This is certainly a huge day, but comparing that to Black Friday (November 27, 2015) and Cyber Monday (November 30, 2015), it’s clear that Amazon is doing a lot more business around Christmas shopping. In 2015, Black Friday was a 4.8x standard deviations of units sold over the mean and Cyber Monday was the biggest day at 5.7x standard deviations. In fact, December 1, was the second biggest day in terms of units sold at 5.0x standard deviations.

When examining revenue generated, Prime Day was still a remarkable day in 2015 at 2.5x standard deviations above the average day, but all of those discounts resulted in it being the sixth most valuable day that year.

Prime Day Has A Smaller Impact On Computer Purchases

72% of the Referral Business purchases are in the computer category. In this category, Prime Day is still in the top 5 biggest days in units purchased, but falls to the 10th most significant day for revenue. This is likely due to discounts being limited to smaller purchases in 2015, like USB sticks and external hard drives.

Since Amazon spends a lot of money directly marketing Prime Day, it’s likely that this referral data underestimates the impact of direct traffic and marketing channels. That being said,

People Aren’t Shopping On Christmas

By the way, it’s also nice to see that people are focusing on more important things than buying more stuff on Christmas Day — it was the worst day of the year for the referral business, with 2.4x standard deviations fewer purchases than average.

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