Early Shopping Events Offer Clues to Holiday Success

Sovrn Commerce Team // October 18, 2023

Results from Amazon’s Big Deal Days and Walmart’s Holiday Kickoff Deals event are in! And the popularity of these October shopping bonanzas — along with many others — suggest that consumers are hungry for bargains this holiday season. 

For the second year in a row, Amazon kicked off the holiday shopping season with a two-day exclusive event for its Prime members, running October 10-11. Always eager to compete with Amazon’s Prime events, Walmart ran their own savings event spanning four days, from October 9-12 — with no premium membership requirement. Walmart’s results are still under wraps, but Amazon reports that this year’s event outpaced 2022, with customers saving more than $1 billion on over 150 million items ordered — up from about 100 million items last year. 

As economic uncertainties continue, it’s no surprise that holiday shoppers are looking for deals. And clearly it’s not too early to start your holiday gift promotions. But what exactly are consumers buying this year? Purchase data can provide clues to help you plan for the critical weeks ahead, so let’s dig in. 

Top insights from 2023 holiday kickoff events

To help you understand which products and categories are catching shoppers’ attention so far this season, here are a few key takeaways from October’s major discount events:

  • Average order value increased slightly. The average order size during Prime Big Deal Days was $53.47, up slightly from the October 2022 event ($52.26). Additionally, more than half of households that made a purchase placed multiple orders — pushing the average household spend over $100.
  • Purchases were very different from Prime Days past. Amid continued inflation and fears of recession, consumers used Amazon’s shopping event as an opportunity to restock the basics — rather than splurging on electronics and tech gadgets. Best-selling items included Premier Protein Shakes, AmazonBasics batteries, Liquid I.V packets, Crest Whitestrips, and Energizer AA batteries.
  • Small ticket items ruled the day. According to market research firm Numerator, well over half of all items sold during Prime Big Deal Days items were less than $20 — and just 4% were more than $100. The average spend per item was just $27.90.
  • Alternative sales prompted comparison shopping. Even during shopping bonanzas, consumers are cautious about spending more than they need to. Numerator reports that 55% of shoppers compared prices before making a purchase. Top alternative merchants during Amazon’s event included Walmart, Sam’s Club, Nordstrom, and Zappos.
  • Early toy trends emerge. If you’re buying for kids this holiday season, you’ll likely see some of these best-sellers on their wish list: Squishmallows, Barbie toy boat playset, Catan adventure board game, and PicassoTiles magnetic building set.

If you need insights from your own affiliate program, look no further than our real-time analytics dashboard. This valuable resource within the Sovrn Commerce platform will help guide your commerce strategy throughout the holiday season.

Looking for more?

Sovrn is dedicated to helping publishers drive revenue during the holiday season and beyond. To help you keep up with all the earning opportunities this busy quarter, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to the season’s holidays and shopping events. Check out our Q4 2023 Shopping Calendar for tips on top merchants and high-performing categories to boost your affiliate performance in the months to come. 

And the Sovrn Commerce Platform includes all the tools you need to make 2023 your best year yet. If you’re not already earning with Sovrn Commerce, sign up now! Once approved, you can start earning right away. 

Already a Sovrn Commerce customer? Refer Sovrn Commerce to your affiliate marketer peers and you can earn incremental income with very little effort. You’ll earn a full 15% of our earnings for the first six months of each new partnership. Best of all? There’s no limit to how much you can earn. 😎

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