Amazon is expected to have its biggest shopping day ever tomorrow, its second annual Prime Day, and investors excitedly gobbled up shares on Monday ahead of the big event. The online retail giant’s stock roared to a record high today, beating Friday’s record high by climbing about 1%. It closed at $753.78 per share. Amazon stock also set a record high about a year ago on July 14, which was the day before the company’s first Prime Day.
Amazon looks to grow subscriber base
The one-day shopping festival is expected to have as many as or possibly more deals than Black Friday or Cyber Monday, and shoppers turned out (virtually) in droves last year. Data from NPD Group’s Checkout Tracking indicates that Amazon won 89% of online spend on last year’s Prime Day, compared to 69% of online spend on Black Friday 2015.
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Amazon said shoppers purchased 398 items per second last year, although Twitter was filled with derisive comments from shoppers who poked fun of the small discounts and quality of items being offered. Only those who have shelled out $99 for a yearly subscription to Amazon Prime will be able to see the thousands of deals that will be offered.
Prime Day is about much more than raking in money on sales of goods, however, as the company’s long game is to attract more subscribers to the service. Amazon has gradually been expanding the benefits and services it offers to Prime members, which now go far behind the two-day free shipping. Prime members also include Prime Video and many other deals.
According to CNBC, JMP Securities analyst Ronald Josey said Prime is helping the online retailer capture a greater sure of consumer wallets by increasing the number of loyal users. Last year’s Prime Day increased Amazon’s revenue growth for the third quarter by 2%, and he expects this year’s event to do the same or even beat that.
Morgan Stanley analyst Brian Nowak believes groceries and clothing will drive long-term growth at Amazon as he sees these two categories as being the most important ones for the online retailer. He believes the two categories combined will drive 26% of forward U.S. growth, adding that they make up more than $1 trillion in annual consumer expenditures or 42% of the company’s U.S. addressable spend. He adds that his newest AlphaWise survey data indicates that Amazon is making traction in both categories.
It’s still early for groceries, as only 12% of U.S. consumers buy fresh groceries online and 18% buy packaged groceries online. However, Nowak explained in a July 11 report that penetration in both is still rising. He added that clothing penetration is the highest of all categories as 52% of U.S. shoppers have bought clothes online within the last 12 months and 29% expect to spend more on apparel online in the next 12 months.
He adds that 45% of U.S. consumers bought clothing on Amazon in the last 12 months, representing an increase of 600 basis points from the first quarter of 2015. He said this is the biggest year over year increase of the ten retailers they track and that Amazon now enjoys a clothing shopper reach advantage of more than two times.
It’s likely that Prime Day will further demonstrate just how important clothing in particular is for Amazon, as Checkout Tracking’s data indicate that among Amazon clothing or accessory buyers on Prime Day, 65% of their apparel wallets went to Amazon. Additionally, they were twice as loyal to the online retail giant on Prime Day than they were on Black Friday when only 32% of clothing or accessory buyers’ apparel wallets went to Amazon.