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How Prime Day stacks up against other shopping holidays

June 21, 2021, 9:56 PM UTC

Amazon is poised to make more than $10 billion from Prime Day, its two-day shopping frenzy, which runs June 21 and 22. Does that haul make Prime Day the king of the shopping holiday hill?

Not exactly.

While Amazon’s retail event has grown big enough to spur competitors to launch their own competing sales, it still falls far behind other big shopping days.

A study from Digital Commerce 360, a market research firm, breaks down Amazon’s multi-day event compared to others held around the world. Last year, the site says, Amazon took in an estimated $10.4 billion. That’s less than 15% of the gross sales of Alibaba’s Singles Day 2020, which came in at $74.1 billion.

Chinese shoppers often dwarf the totals of U.S. customers.’s big June sale, called 618, took in $37.99 billion last year. And the period between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, known as the “cyber five” for the number of days it spans, saw $34.36 billion spent worldwide.

Admittedly, 2020 was an unusual year for retailers, given the COVID-19 pandemic. Prime Day came late, which could have impacted its numbers. But if you’re curious how the event compared in terms of single-day sales to other single-day events, it fared a bit better, though not as well as you might think.

Cyber Monday is the king of shopping events these days. Boosted by the pandemic, when many people were unable or unwilling to go to brick-and-mortar stores, Cyber Monday 2020 took in $10.84 billion in just one day, according to the study.

Black Friday, not surprisingly, was close behind. The event netted just over $9 billion in sales. Prime Day came in third at $5.2 billion, which was just a hair more than Thanksgiving Day sales of $5.1 billion.

The big question for 2021 is: Since Prime Day has more separation from the other big shopping holidays of the year, will less looming competition result in sales that top last year? Or will buyers be less enthusiastic at the start of summer?

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