Amazon Prime Day 2019: 48 Hours of Deals and Steals with All the Feels

Retail behemoth, Amazon has the answer to the summertime sales slump — Prime Day. This year’s Prime Day was bigger and better than ever before lasting for a full 48 hours. According to Amazon on July 15th and 16th, Prime members around the globe purchased over 175 million items topping the sales from last year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. We wanted to know more about the US Prime members and their Prime Day shopping strategies, so we surveyed 1,000 of them. Read on to find out the prime-ary reason they love Amazon Prime, what they bought on Prime Day, and much more.


Amazon Prime was launched 14 years ago in 2005. Though Amazon itself hasn’t released exact numbers, it is estimated that at year-end 2018, there were over 100 million Prime members worldwide. Of the thousand in the US that we surveyed, 14% have been a Prime member for less than a year (38% of these fledgling members said they signed up just to take advantage of this year’s Prime Day). 27% of our respondents joined Prime 1-2 years ago, another 27% joined 3-4 years ago, 13% 5-6 years ago, and 18% have been a member for 6+ years. 42% of Prime members we surveyed use the Amazon household feature to share their Prime membership with another adult in their household.

The Prime Directive

Well, it isn’t rocket science, the main reason that consumers join Amazon Prime is free shipping, this is according to 69% of the Prime members we surveyed. No other Prime feature even came close; with the second most popular reason for joining Prime being Prime Video chosen by 10%. When asked to rank Amazon Prime features by importance, Prime members chose these as the top five most important:

  1. Free shipping
  2. Free same day delivery
  3. Prime Video
  4. Prime Day deals
  5. Ability to schedule delivery date of your choice

A Prime Day in the Life

53% of the Prime members we surveyed said they participated in Prime Day this year. The top three ways they heard about Prime Day were 1. the Amazon site (43%), 2. via email (18%), and 3. on social media (17%). Devices used to access Amazon for Prime Day included mobile phone (51%), laptop (40%), desktop (37%), tablet (16%), and other (2%). In 2018, the Amazon site encountered technical difficulties and was down for over an hour. This year, while some consumers said they encountered issues, 82% of Prime members we surveyed said they had no technical problems.

The Prime Is Right

There are many ways to take part in the shopping event that is Prime Day. Here is what Prime members told us they did:

  • 55% – purchased items they found while browsing for deals
  • 47% – browsed throughout the day for deals
  • 35% – watched deals
  • 30% – purchased items from their wish list
  • 28% – purchased lightning deals
  • 23% – put items in their carts ahead of time to see if they prices dropped
  • 21% – shared Prime Day deals with family and friends
  • 16% – browsed deals but didn’t purchase

Prime Day participants also took advantage of Amazon’s special offers like coupons (35%), discounted gift cards (15%), and discounts at Amazon-owned Whole Foods Market (14%). According to Amazon, the best-selling deals at Whole Foods stores were organic strawberries, red cherries, and blueberries.

When asked for the main reason they participated in Prime Day, the most popular responses can be seen in this word cloud — “save money,” “free shipping,” “needed thing,” “something wanted,” and you can see the word “deal” is throughout.

Prime-al Spending

Among Prime Day shoppers who made purchases this year, 38% spent between $5-$60, another 38% spent between $65-$150, and 25% spent more than $155. The top 8 categories that Prime Day participants were interested in shopping for deals were:

  1. 57% – electronics
  2. 44% – home and kitchen
  3. 35% – beauty and personal care
  4. 35% – clothing and footwear
  5. 25% – movies, music, and TV
  6. 23% – pet supplies
  7. 22% – grocery and gourmet food
  8. 18% – books (the thing that started it all)

In a similar list, the top 8 categories among actual Prime Day buyers were:

  1. 49% – electronics
  2. 33% – home and kitchen
  3. 30% – clothing and footwear
  4. 27% – beauty and personal care
  5. 16% – grocery and gourmet food
  6. 16% – pet supplies
  7. 14% – books
  8. 13% – music, movies, and TV

This year’s Prime Day included several special product launches – one of the most buzzed about was Lady Gaga’s beauty brand — Haus Laboratories. Makeup from the new line was available for pre-order starting on Prime Day. Among our respondents who made Prime Day purchases in the beauty and personal care category, 16% pre-ordered Haus Laboratories products.

42% of Prime members we surveyed made purchases on Prime Day in 2018. When comparing their spending with this year:

  • 29% – spent less on Prime Day this year
  • 32% – spent about the same
  • 23% – spent more this year
  • 17% – did not shop on Prime Day this year

For a more in-depth look at Prime Day last year, you can see our 2018 survey.

Prime Wars

Prime Day is officially a phenomenon and many other retailers have piggybacked on its success offering their own discounts and deals during the same timeframe. Several retailers went so far as to advertise their sales with similar names such as “PRIMO Days”. Among our respondents, these tactics did not fare too well, only 16% said they shopped other retailers’ sales during Prime Day. The top three retailers that garnered their business were Walmart, Target, and eBay.

Prime Day Takeaways

People love free shipping and are willing to pay for an Amazon Prime membership to get it. Prime Day deals are one of the top five reasons consumers sign up to become a Prime member and some even time their sign up specifically to take advantage of Prime Day. Prime Day is a powerful tool in the Amazon arsenal of money-making strategies. There are millions of Amazon Prime members and a majority of them make purchases on Prime Day. The most purchased product category is electronics followed by home and kitchen. This year’s two-day Prime Day event was a great success. We can only wonder what Amazon will do in 2020 to top it.

Allie Smith is the former Director of Charts for eMarketer with over 15 years of experience in the world of market research. Her love for charts and graphs is only outweighed by her love for her whippets. She spends her free time watching Law & Order reruns while knitting cute hats for dogs.