Amazon Prime Day may see decelerating sales halo for e-commerce sites, says Salesforce

Amazon's 48 hour e-commerce extravaganza is likely to deliver growth of 51% compared 60% a year ago for non-Amazon sites.

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Amazon's Prime Day in recent history has lifted all e-commerce boats as rivals also launch sales. That effect could be waning, according to Salesforce.

Amazon's 48-hour e-commerce extravaganza is likely to deliver growth of 51% compared to 60% a year ago for non-Amazon sites. Why? A longer sales cycle and waning novelty.

Salesforce's Prime Day e-commerce prediction is based on its data set of 500 million shoppers and 1.4 billion visits.

In a blog post, Salesforce noted:

Last year, we saw a rising Prime Day tide lift all ships, with 60% year-over-year revenue growth across non-Amazon ecommerce sites. As Prime Day loses a bit of its newness factor and goes on longer than ever before, we predict slightly less revenue growth compared to previous years.

Nevertheless, Prime Day will bolster shopping interest among Amazon rivals too. What's also unclear is whether Prime Day becomes a lead-in to back-to-school shopping or ultimately cannibalizes it.

After all, Amazon seems to be ushering in the era of Prime Days. In 2019, Prime Day will run for 48 hours on July 15 and July 16. In 2018, Prime Day was 36 hours stretched over two days, up from 30 hours in 2017. In 2015 and 2016, Prime Day was just 24 hours.

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Salesforce is just one company trying to gauge Prime Day effects along with competitors such as Adobe. We've seen everything from ad load time prognostications to surveys on whether Amazon's site will hold up. eBay is even holding an Amazon outage sale as it jabs a competitor.

Other odds and ends worth pondering from Salesforce's data:

  • New York City will spend the most on Prime Day with Texas cities Dallas and Houston occupying the top 5.
  • Mobile is expected to represent 49% of orders in 2019 and 66% of visits.
  • Luxury and home goods will benefit the most from the Prime Day effect.
  • Retailers aren't likely to go crazy with discounts to lure shoppers, and for Prime Day 2019, there will be a discount rate of 21%, down from 23% a year ago.
  • 74% of Prime Day orders will be shipped for free.