Adobe Analytics: Eighth annual Prime Day drives record U.S. online spend amid historic inflation

Shopping and online payment credit card.

Image Credit: Adobe Stock/ onephoto.

July 26, 2022 — In the midst of the heavy inflationary trends, the eighth annual Prime Day has once again emerged as one of the biggest industry-wide shopping events of the year with record U.S. online spending. This year’s Prime Day week included sales all week long which drove record online spending of $22.4 Billion Dollars (6.1 percent growth YOY). With core sales days of July 11 and July 12 — total spend during the Prime Day event resulted in $11.9 Billion (8.5 percent growth YOY), making it the biggest moment for U.S. online spending to date in 2022.

During the Prime Day event, the average online revenue lift across the U.S. was up 141 percent compared to an average June day (the month when Prime Day was held in 2021). Online spend for July is up month-over-month (MoM) hitting $44 Billion and counting. The two-day event accounts for just under a third of the total monthly spend so far at 31 percent.

Following strong growth over the two Prime Days, spend slowed when the discounts faded, as more normative pricing trends returned, and consumers were no longer motivated by heavy discounting.

Capitalizing on discounts for day-to-day products

As inflation affects consumers’ discretionary budget, consumers purchased products at discounted prices, driving an 8.5 percent increase in sales growth during the Prime Day event compared to last year. Consumers took advantage of discounted prices for categories beyond big-ticket items to more day-to-day products. For example, popular product categories that saw an uptick included audio equipment, appliances, and boys and girls apparel indicating that consumers leveraged Prime Day sales days for Back-to-School shopping.

Leading discounts across categories included:

Stretching budgets

During Prime Day, many consumers utilized emerging payment methods including Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL). This payment method provided a solution for consumers looking to stretch their budgets and still be able to take advantage of the heavy discounting during this pivotal summer holiday sale period. BNPL utilization was up 13 percent during Prime Day 2022 versus Prime Day 2021. In addition, the average order value with BNPL was up 12 percent during Prime Day in 2022 versus Prime Day 2021.

Online accelerates offline

With Buy Online Pick Up In Store (BOPIS) options, brick-and-mortar retailers also experienced a lift in conversions during the Prime Day Event. What emerged as a trend during the pandemic, the BOPIS service has remained useful for consumers who are looking to save time shopping or are concerned about personal safety during the pandemic. Some retailers included further discounting for consumers participating in BOPIS to motivate consumers and drive omnichannel spend. For retailers offering BOPIS, there was a 20 percent boost in conversion compared to an average June day.

Based on the key trends across this year’s Prime Day event, it is apparent that consumers are incredibly price conscious but continuing to spend when offered discounts on day-to-day items, and retail and payment experiences that help stretch their budgets and make shopping more convenient. It will be important for retailers to leverage price effectively, in order unlock new growth potential online.

Methodology: The Adobe Digital Economy Index offers the most comprehensive set of insights of its kind, based on analysis through Adobe Analytics that covers over one trillion visits to U.S. retail sites and over 100 million SKUs in 18 product categories — more than any other technology company