Did voices carry Amazon Prime Day to record heights? Who knows

We found out that Prime Day was Amazon's biggest sales day ever, and millions of Echo devices were sold. But we didn't find out if voice shopping reached an inflection point on the way to going mainstream.
Written by Brent Leary, Contributor
Amazon Prime Day 2018: A look at the numbers

Video: Amazon Prime Day 2018: A look at the numbers

Well, that was anticlimactic.

This post was going to be the third in my personal Prime Day trilogy, with this one expecting to highlight Alexa's growing role in selling stuff helping to make this Amazon's biggest day ever. Instead, this post will be short and sweet.

Read also: Amazon pulls off record Prime Day despite site glitches

Well, it will be short. Because there are a million and one posts out there dissecting what took place last week with Prime Day. And some of the most interesting stats don't even come from Amazon. The one thing I was hoping to get some insight on -- voice shopping numbers -- was completely left out of the official Amazon numbers. And I didn't see any unofficial stats coming from third-party firms or outlets, at least as far as I can see as of this writing.

Amazon's official press release said it was its best-selling day in the company's history. But you had to figure that would be the case with all the buildup, so that wasn't too surprising. What was more interesting was the $4.2 billion estimate of the 36-hour sales total Wedbush Securities put out after the event was over, which was far above the $3.4 billion revenue Coresight Research put out before Prime Day took place.

Amazon said the best-sellers worldwide were the Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote and Echo Dot. Prime Day 2018 was also the biggest event ever for Echo devices with screens: Echo Show and Echo Spot. And that over one million smart home devices were sold, with Ring having its best sales day on the 16th, and the Cloud Cam being the "best-selling security camera deal in Amazon history."

Read also: Amazon Alexa iOS adds voice control - CNET

Once again, none of these points are big surprises. But what I found more interesting was, according to Edison Trends, sales of all Echo products ballooned to approximately 45-times the average number sold per day over the last month, with Echo products as a percent of all Amazon items accounting for 1.7 percent of all items sold on Prime Day. That's a huge increase from the average day standard of 0.1 percent.

A few other interesting Alexa/Echo stats come from InfoScout, an omnichannel consumer purchase panel provider. Its survey of more than 1,000 Amazon Prime Day shoppers who bought something in the first 24 hours found:

  • 83 percent of the Prime Day shoppers who bought an Amazon Echo product were planning to do so on Prime Day.
  • Of the shoppers who own an Alexa device, 59 percent own two or more.
  • 41 percent of Amazon Alexa device shoppers indicated this was their first Alexa product.

So, going back to the first in this trilogy -- 3 Things to Look For in Amazon Prime Day Results -- we know that:

  • Prime Day 2018 did become the biggest selling "day" in Amazon history, according to them. And seem to surpass estimates from third party analysts.
  • The stars of the show were Echo devices and other Alexa-enabled gadgets.
  • SMBs "far exceeded" a $1 billion in sales during Prime Day.

So, yeah, I wanted to know all of that. But the biggest things I wanted to know, in conjunction with all of that, went unanswered:

  • How much of that record sales number came through voice shopping?
  • Is voice sales making up a higher percentage of overall sales than last year?
  • What is the average sale for voice shopping transaction, and is it increasing?
  • Do voice shoppers buy more stuff than the average Prime member?
  • Do voice shoppers spend more?
  • Do they make more money?

I could go on with this but I won't.

Read also: Amazon Prime Day 2018: Everything you need to know - TechRepublic

And I know I wasn't the only one thinking that Prime Day 2018 could be an inflection point in voice shopping. It might've been, as you could speculate that more sales than ever and millions of Echo devices out there, and another year of folks using them, should translate to more folks asking Alexa to buy stuff. But we need more than speculation to know if voice shopping is on the road to changing mainstream behaviors.

Looks like we'll have to keep looking for those signs.

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