Did Amazon wrap up Christmas in July?
Many have come to bemoan the Christmas creep phenomena as retailers put out ornaments and fake trees on store floors in October, but the truth is that a lot of consumers start shopping for the holidays even earlier — say July — and capturing those purchases has become increasingly important for the top and bottom line performance of retailers.
Research from Valassis shows that 40 percent of U.S. consumers completed at least some of their Christmas shopping during Amazon.com’s Prime Day 36-hour shopping event on July 16 and 17. The survey, which included 1,000 consumers who purchased Christmas gifts, found that the event was particularly effective among younger consumers between the ages of 18 and 34. Nearly one in five in this group completed at least 25 percent of their shopping during the Amazon sales event.
Amazon reported that this year’s event was the biggest ever for the platform with shoppers purchasing more than 100 million products overall. Third-party sellers on Amazon’s marketplace generated revenues of over $1 billion from Prime Day.
Amazon’s rivals, for the most part, did not sit idly by during Prime Day, so it’s not yet clear what sales made in July will mean for their Christmas results. Target, for example, ran a sale on July 17, which the chain reported as the single biggest online shopping day up to that point in 2018.
Online sales have become an increasingly important element in driving revenues and market share for retailers during the Christmas selling season. Rakuten Intelligence found that five of the top 10 brick and mortar chains — Best Buy, Costco, Kohl’s, Target and Walmart — grew year-over-year online sales more quickly during the 2017 season than did Amazon with its 24 percent gain.
- Consumers Leverage Three Phases to Get the Most From Their Holiday Shopping – Valassis
- Prime Day success extends beyond Amazon – RetailWire
- As Christmas Nears, online holiday sales continue to climb – Rakuten Intelligence
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How important are online sales made in July to the overall share of retailers’ holiday sales? Will findings such as those in the Valassis study lead even more retailers to promote “Christmas in July” sales events?