Small Businesses Drive Amazon’s Prime Day New Record 

Small businesses made this year’s Prime Day event the largest ever, contributing to more than 375 million items sold, even outpacing Amazon’s own retail business.

Before Amazon’s 2023 Prime Day kick-off, PYMNTS reported that the e-commerce giant had some lofty aspirations to exceed its 2022 Prime Day of selling over 300 million items worldwide as inflation and customer reluctance to spend looked to be factors that could work against the behemoth. However, following the conclusion of this year’s Prime Day, Amazon has now said it achieved its highest-ever sales volume during this year’s Prime Day, with 375 million items sold worldwide with Prime members saving more than $2.5 billion on millions of deals across the Amazon store. 

Significantly, this year’s Prime Day marked a milestone as the biggest event ever for independent sellers within Amazon’s marketplace. The majority of these sellers were small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), and their sales growth on Amazon’s platform during the event surpassed that of Amazon’s own retail business. 

“The first day of Prime Day was the largest sales day in Amazon’s history, and Prime members saved more this year than any other Prime Day event,” said Doug Herrington, CEO of Amazon Stores, in a statement. “Prime is an incredible value, and we’re proud to offer additional value for members through exclusive deals events like Prime Day. Thank you to our Prime members for continuing to shop in our store, and to our employees and independent sellers around the world who delivered for customers this Prime Day.” 

Before the event’s launch, PYMNTS sat down with Claire O’Donnell, director of Selling Partner Empowerment, Communities & Trust at Amazon, to discuss Amazon’s new Prime Day focus: the amplification of deals from SMBs. 

O’Donnell pointed out a significant change in customer behavior, particularly among younger consumers, who were increasingly aligning their shopping choices with personal values. This trend included a strong preference for supporting small businesses. In response, Amazon took proactive steps to enhance small businesses’ visibility and shopping experience, aiming to cater to these evolving consumer preferences. 

Read more: Amazon Says Prime Day 2023 Will Highlight Small Business  

During this year’s Prime Day, members had the opportunity to explore deals beyond the Amazon store through a new Prime member perk called Buy with Prime. The feature provided U.S.-based members with the familiar benefits and trustworthiness of Prime when making purchases directly from participating brands’ websites.  

To generate awareness for these deals, Buy with Prime invited a diverse range of merchants to participate in promotional activities alongside Prime Day deals on their respective sites. 

These offers were showcased across Amazon’s channels, including prominent on-site banners on the Amazon store, influencer-generated content and digital awareness campaigns. As a result, participating merchants collectively witnessed a significant 10x increase in daily Buy with Prime orders and observed an impressive 8x surge in daily revenue generated from these orders during the Prime Day event, as compared to the month prior to the Prime Day announcement, according to Amazon.  

Small businesses such as Caraway, True Classic, and TUSHY saw their average daily sales in Amazon’s store increase by over 18 times when compared to the period leading up to Prime Day in 2023.  

This year Amazon also looked to new ventures to entice consumers to spend. 

For example, this year, Amazon partnered with travel booking site Priceline to offer exclusive discounts for Prime Day. 

“We want to meet customers where they are. We know travelers are shopping on Amazon and booking travel with Priceline,” said Lesley Klein, senior vice president of marketing at Priceline at the time of the announcement.  

Read more: Amazon Uses Priceline Partnership to Grab Travel Spend on Prime Day 

On July 6, Amazon revealed that it would be expanding the range of discounts available to Amazon Prime members to include in-store purchases of groceries and fashion items. 

For instance, customers who spend $50 or more at Amazon Fresh stores would get a 25% discount on their in-store purchases during Prime Day. Additionally, Prime Visa cardholders with an eligible Prime membership could earn a 6% cashback when they used their card to shop at Amazon Fresh on Prime Day. 

Whole Foods Market joined the Prime Day event, as did Amazon Go stores. 

 For all PYMNTS retail coverage, subscribe to the daily Retail Newsletter.