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Prime Day Reaches New Offline Peak

Ethan Chernofsky
July 22, 2019
Prime Day Reaches New Offline Peak

One of the more interesting elements of Prime Day 2018 was Amazon’s utilization of Whole Foods’s offline presence to boost online sales. On the Saturday and Sunday of the campaign, visits were 22.4% and 26.8% above the baseline for the summer period of 2018.

Even more fascinating, Amazon rivals like Walmart, Target and Best Buy chose not to utilize their offline presence even though physical retail locations are among their strongest assets. 

With Prime Day 2019 in the rearview mirror, we dove into the offline impact of Prime Day 2019 to see if Amazon’s Whole Foods success could be replicated and whether other top retailers would succeed in driving offline visits.

Whole Foods Rises Again

Analyzing visits for all of 2019 through July 16th found that Amazon once again leveraged Whole Foods to great effect. Saturday, July 13th saw visits that were 20.3% above the baseline for 2019, while Sunday the 14th saw that number reach 26.8%. Only three other days in 2019 saw traffic reach higher levels than the Sunday of Prime Day week.

Weekday Impact

And it wasn’t just the weekends that drove visits for Whole Foods with the Monday of Prime Day seeing the 4th most weekday visits of 2019. Only the Friday before Easter, the Monday of Memorial Day Weekend and the Wednesday before Independence Day saw more visits in a single weekday. And this is a crucial win for Prime Day as it not only succeeded in driving visits, but in pushing them during ‘off peak’ times.

Weekday visits for Whole Foods in 2019, with weekend traffic removed

Could Offline Competitors Cash In?

While Prime Day 2018’s offline impact was leveraged primarily by Whole Foods, 2019’s ‘Christmas in July’ festivities saw others dive in. Walmart, one of Amazon’s biggest competitors, drove a huge Big Save event that began before Prime Day and lasted beyond. And after a poor offline showing in 2018, offline impact saw a significant boost in 2019.

Analyzing traffic from 2019, Walmart saw in-store traffic rise 25.7% above the baseline on Friday, July 12th, 37.5% on Saturday the 13th and 26.1% on Sunday the 14th. Yet even more impressive than the weekend performance were the buoyed numbers on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of that week. While weekdays generally plunge below the baseline average, Walmart enjoyed a Monday that was 2.6% above and a Tuesday and Wednesday that performed above average for midweek visits. 

Another major retailer with similarly encouraging signs was Target, which saw weekday visits that were well above the expected midweek dips. In fact, Target’s Monday through Wednesday were 3%, 4.4% and 4.9% above the baseline respectively, representing huge gains on the norm. 

The final brand analyzed in 2018 was Best Buy, and once again a key player with strength in offline retail stepped up to the plate. While weekend traffic fell in line with earlier weeks in the summer, Best Buy’s Monday visits were 6.5% above the baseline, and Tuesday visits rose 4.6% above. This positive correlation with Prime Day shows the positive effects that online deals can bring to offline locations.

Prime Day’s Growing Impact

While Amazon claimed this year’s Prime Day to be the most successful yet, there is a wider impact that should not be understated - Prime Day is delivering offline results. This is a huge step forward for brands building out omnichannel operations and looking to deliver service through a harmonious combination of eCommerce and in-store.

If Prime Day 2019 is any indication, expect greater levels of crossover between offline and online pushes as retailers, whether digital or offline native, look to capitalize on their full range of assets. And this doesn’t just mark a significant event for Amazon, but for the retail community as a whole.

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