Amazon’s Prime Day benefits brick-and-mortar retail as well, a new study shows. This year, Prime Day—October 13 and 14—drove offline visits, according to data from Placer.ai. The activity illustrates how general excitement around a retail event can benefit sales both online and offline.
During the two-day event, Walmart, Target, Whole Foods and Best Buy all saw a significant improvement in visits compared to the six-week average preceding Prime Day. Best Buy had the most impressive increase in visits, up 21.7% year-over-year during the Prime Day event. Target also saw a significant jump in visits, up 7% year-over-year. These retailers aligned with the event by launching special deals to help drive business and compete with Amazon.
While offline retailers experienced a surge in visits compared to the prior six weeks, visits were down when comparing to other Prime Day events. One reason for this is that Prime Day was July 15 and 16 in 2019, and retailers had more time to prepare for offline sales. In addition, the summer period of 2019 was a strong time for retail sales. This year, Target visits were down 15.9%; Walmart visits were 19.1%, and Best Buy visits were down 11.6% compared to Prime Day in 2019. With the pandemic and the change in Prime Day dates, comparing the two years in terms of visits was especially challenging, according to Placer.ai.
Offline retailers had an improvement in visits during Prime Day, Amazon was the clear winner. The e-commerce giant had an increase in visits to warehouses, which is an indicator of online demand, compared to both Prime Day 2019 as well as similar days in 2019. Placer.ai notes that this is a significant indication of the company’s activity and ability to handle the increased demand.
Although Amazon clearly led in activity on Prime Day—no surprise, since the event belongs to the company—the increase in offline visits illustrates how closely brick-and-mortar and online shopping really are, and how physical retail can benefit from increased online shopping.
“Is Amazon still the king of Prime Day?” Placer.ai concludes. “Of course. But offline retailers showed that even when online pushes are providing the boost in urgency and excitement, physical retail can still benefit.”
The Placer.ai study also underscores the growing interdependence between online and brick-and-mortar retail.
A study by the International Council of Shopping Centers shows that physical stores can increase online revenue. The ICSC found that a brick-and-mortar store in an area can increase traffic to the retailer’s website by 37%.