GUEST OPINION Insights from Prime Day 2018

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2018 has already seen the first increase in the annual cost of Amazon Prime in four years as a yearly subscription in the US went up by $20 to $119 ($59 for students). This new pricing went into effect in June of this year, followed one month later by Prime Day 2018 which ran for 36 hours from 3 pm ET on July 16 until 3 am ET on July 18.

So what happened and who were the biggest and winners and losers on the day? Here Liron Hakim Bobrov, Marketing Insights Manager at SimilarWeb outlines what went down

How was Prime Day 2018 different to Prime Day 2017?

The start time this year of 3 pm ET makes it hard to make direct comparisons with Prime Day 2017 which began only at 9 pm ET, taking in an extra six hours on the Monday. Taking the two days over which Prime Day took place as a block, traffic for the Monday/Tuesday of Prime Day in 2018 was up 4.9% over the Monday/Tuesday block of Prime Day 2017.

When you divide the total increase in traffic over the total number of hours that the sale was live, there was actually a drop of 12.6% in traffic per sale hour. It remains to be seen whether Amazon will persist next year with the 36-hour version of the day or return to a 30-hour Prime Day.

Comparing Monday to Monday, the Monday of Prime Day 2018 was up around 15% on the Monday of last year which is understandable given the extra six hours of sale time. The full day, Tuesday July 17 2018 saw slightly less traffic than July 18, 2017.

Traffic by the Hour

Looking at hourly traffic to in the US throughout the 36 hours of Prime Day saw the absolute peak within the first few hours of the event getting started. Traffic rose again on Tuesday afternoon, without reaching the heights of the previous evening.

Conversion Data for Prime Day 2018

On Monday, July 16th,’s conversion rate was up by 29% over its weekday average. On Tuesday, that number bumped up to a 46% increase. Over the two days of Prime Day 2018 the conversion rate for visits to in the US reached an estimated 11.5%. Amazon’s average conversion rate for the first half of 2018 was around 8.4% which is already much higher than other online retailers. This statistic alone seems to indicate that Prime Day has established itself as a successful, mid-year sale day.

Top Searches within

There were only minor differences in the subjects of searches during Prime Day compared with the first quarter of 2018. The most popular products searched on remained instant pot, nintendo switch and kindle.

Other more generic search terms  include headphones, laptop, ssd and monitor.

Most Viewed Products

Amazon products like the Fire TV Stick, Echo Dot, Fire HD 8 Tablet and Kindle Paperwhite E-reader showed up consistently over the two shopping days. Prime Memberships were also among the most-viewed products on both days with Amazon gift cards gaining prominence on the Tuesday.

Other products that piqued audience interests included the Instant Pot which has remained on Amazon’s top products list since Black Friday, as well as Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones, the Blink XT Home Security camera and the TCL Smart LED TV.

Other than the Instant Pot and the Kindle, Amazon’s most viewed products were not the most searched for, indicating Prime Day’s ability to bring customer attention to products they may not even be looking for.

Other Winners on Prime Day

Prime Day also delivered for Amazon’s network of affiliates who make money by sending traffic to the ecommerce giant. Usually responsible for less than 1% of’s referral traffic, saw a significant uptick in outgoing traffic to generating 2.2% of incoming referral traffic to over the past 28 days including Prime Day 2018.

The tech news website was able to generate this extra traffic by optimizing its content for “prime day” related keywords. In the last 28 days, received a higher proportion of “prime day” keywords than – 30.2%, compared to’s 23.5%.

Receiving the traffic organically, then directing it back to Amazon through affiliate links, means probably saw a nice financial bump by optimizing content against Amazon’s own branded day.



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