Sales during Amazon’s Prime Big Deal Days, the now-annual fall member sale event, were significant but essentially flat compared to last year when the sale debuted, according to data from Salesforce. Among the best-selling categories during this year’s event — which took place Oct. 10-11 and now marks the unofficial kickoff to the holiday season — were apparel, beauty, home and toys.
While Amazon does not release specific sales figures, the retailer noted that Prime members saved more than $1 billion across hundreds of millions of items purchased. On Oct. 11 alone, U.S. Prime members bought more than 25 million items with same- or next-day delivery, with hundreds of thousands of items delivered within four hours of purchase, Amazon said. However, early indications are that the July 2023 Prime Day, which generated $12.7 billion in sales, outperformed the October event, as it did last year as well.
During the October event, average order size was $53.47, according to data from Numerator, down from the July Prime Day figure but higher than last October’s. More than half (55%) of households placed two or more separate orders, bringing the average household spend to approximately $124.09.
AI-Enabled Product Recommendations Boost Health and Beauty Categories
AI played a significant role in U.S. online sales, driving up orders from shoppers who clicked on product recommendations driven by predictive AI, according to Salesforce. The categories with the highest AI order share this year were for general handbags and active apparel (both at 15%), while the highest YoY AI order share growth was in the skincare category, up 26% compared to the previous year.
“It’s no coincidence that the health and beauty sector, with the largest increase in year-over-year orders influenced by AI-powered product recommendations, was also one of the categories that saw the strongest sales growth globally during Prime Big Deal Days,” said Rob Garf, VP and GM of Retail at Salesforce in a statement. “AI was a game-changer during Amazon’s manufactured holiday this year, driving significant sales growth for digital retailers who used it effectively to engage and influence shoppers.”
As they did in July, U.S. Prime members shopped for deals beyond Amazon using Buy with Prime, with some of the most popular deals purchased from Wyze, ALT. Fragrances and Moon Juice. Additionally, Prime members ordered more than 150 million items from its independent marketplace sellers, many of which are small- to medium-sized businesses.
In the U.S., shoppers waited for better deals on day two of the event, contributing to daily online sales growth between day one (-4% compared to the same day in 2022) and day two (+1%), according to Salesforce. A 5% increase in the average discount rate likely helped improve the Oct. 11 results, particularly in categories where the discounts were more dramatic: general apparel (discounts of up to 28%), home dining and furniture (22%), and active apparel and footwear (17%).