The halo effect of Amazon Prime Day on e-commerce apps
Last week, on July 12 and 13, Amazon held its seventh annual online sale extravaganza—Prime Day—and it was the biggest shopping event in Amazon's history. Globally, Prime Day shoppers bought more than 300 million items, saving over $1.7 billion, more than any previous Prime Day event. Adobe Analytics reported that during this year's Prime Day, spending in the US exceeded $11.9 billion amidst soaring inflation. However, due to changing priorities, shoppers bought necessities over luxury items. Some of the best-selling categories worldwide were Amazon devices, consumer electronics, and home goods.
Amazon Prime Day: From then until now
Amazon Prime Day was first introduced in 2015 to maximize sales during the off-season, reward Prime members, draw new subscribers, and promote their products and services. Now, it has evolved into a highly anticipated 48-hour midsummer sale in more than 15 countries. Amazon's success has also inspired other large retailers and small brands to leverage the online traffic and hype from Prime Day to create competing shopping events. On Prime Day 2022, Amazon competitors expected to increase sales by 45.9% compared to an average shopping day.
Today, consumers shop on mobile more than ever, and it was no different during Amazon Prime Day and other coinciding shopping events. Apptopia predicted that during the week of Prime Day, consumers globally (outside of China) would spend over 1 billion hours on Android phones in shopping apps, up 40% from Prime Day week last year. Adjust data also shows that e-commerce app usage increased on Prime Day 2022. We analyzed global installs, sessions, and session lengths of e-commerce apps during Prime Day, citing year-on-year growth at the sub-vertical level, including shopping and marketplace.
E-commerce apps flourish on Prime Day 2022
Prime Day has given the retail industry a much-needed boost, increasing global installs of all e-commerce apps over the last few years. Global installs were up 13% during Prime Day 2021, compared to the same two-day period in October 2020. Installs grew another 5% in 2022 YoY. However, installs this year were 18% higher than in 2019.
Sessions of e-commerce apps were even more impressive during last week’s Prime Day, eclipsing the pre-pandemic Prime Day level. Sessions only rose by 1% in 2021 YoY but surged 13% in 2022. And, compared to Prime Day 2019, sessions saw a remarkable increase of 73% in 2022. This year's growth indicates that bargain-hunters took full advantage of the promotional discounts to save money on essentials or get a headstart on holiday and back-to-school shopping amid the rising costs and worries about a looming recession. The average session lengths have also climbed YoY, jumping from an average of 10 minutes on Prime Day 2021 to 10.87 minutes in 2022. This demonstrates that users spent more time on e-commerce apps during the shopping event, searching for the best deals on their favorite items.
Marketplace apps hit the jackpot
Amazon recently revamped the marketplace seller program, announcing a "Support Small Businesses to Win Big" initiative, which spotlights third-party merchants in its deals. Over $3 billion in sales were generated by customers supporting small businesses during the three-week lead-up to Prime Day. Marketplace sales increased 11.7% YoY during Prime Day 2022, up from a growth rate of 10.4% in 2021.
Amazon's focus on third-party sellers and small businesses appears to have had a ripple effect. The marketplace category in the e-commerce vertical charted the most notable growth. While global installs of marketplace apps saw a boost of 6% during Prime Day 2022 YoY, sessions posted a hike of 19%. The average session length, however, slightly decreased from 11.01 minutes during Prime Day 2021 to 10.97 minutes in 2022. However, it's important to note that a high session volume often leads to a drop in session lengths.
Users spend more time on shopping apps
Adjust data indicates that global installs of shopping apps increased by 22% during Prime Day 2021 YoY and jumped another 5% in 2022. Installs were also 24% higher in 2022 compared to 2019.
While the session increase was slightly less than installs, it was still impressive. Global sessions for shopping apps surged 15% from 2020 to 2021 and grew another 3% during Prime Day 2022. Compared to 2019, sessions were up by a massive 78% this year. Session lengths for shopping apps also saw a sizeable uptick, jumping from 8.58 minutes in 2021 to 11.03 minutes in 2022.
The high level of engagement in shopping apps is likely due to the plethora of curated deals offered in competing sales events, giving shoppers appealing alternatives to Prime Day. For instance, Target and Best Buy offered promotions for 72 hours starting a day before Amazon on July 11.
How can e-commerce apps win on Prime Day?
This year, Amazon plans to hold a second shopping event for Prime members in the fourth quarter. The possible second Prime Day presents another opportunity for e-commerce apps to generate additional revenue, showcase brand authenticity and experiment with ad formats. But, app marketers must start preparing ahead of time to capitalize on Prime Day and stand out from the competition providing an overwhelming amount of deals. According to Adobe, brands that created ad campaigns ahead of time saw significant growth during Prime Day.
E-commerce apps can also partner with influencers for their marketing campaigns. Amazon, for example, gave deal-hungry shoppers early Prime Day deals on Amazon Live during live streams with influencers and celebrities. The Amazon Live Prime Day streams had more than 100 million views. Besides, as inflation squeezes consumers' wallets, retailers must leverage price effectively. Offering personalized promotions based on their spending can help retain users even after the sale. Plus, free shipping during sales can push customers to order more items. But, e-commerce apps must look beyond Prime Day to continue their growth for the rest of the year. While holiday sales are beneficial, retailers and marketers can take a page out of Amazon's book and create their own branded shopping events with deals focused on specific categories and products.
Ready to acquire more users and generate greater in-app revenue for your app? Check out Part 1 of our guide: Scaling your app to 1 million users, which covers ASO and UA strategies for app growth.