(NBC) — Amazon Prime Day, the e-commerce giant’s discount bonanza for users of its premium subscription service, kicked off on Tuesday.
But amid runaway inflation, Americans are likely to spend far less money this year than they did in 2021, a survey has found.
RetailMeNot, Inc., a shopping and promotions website, found that shoppers planned to spend an average of $388 during the 48-hour sale event. This compares to an average spend of $595 last year. The site surveyed over 1,000 users.
This comes as the pandemic-era surge in e-commerce sales in the United States proves to be short-lived. After jumping 32% in the second quarter of 2020, online sales have largely resumed their usual pace of around 3% per quarter, according to US Census data. And as a percentage of total US sales, e-commerce growth has leveled off in the post-pandemic era.
“Prime Day has grown in terms of dollars spent each year since its inception,” RetailMeNot said. “If it plateaus this year, it will show how much of an impact inflation has had on US shoppers.”
The mid-year spending spree won’t just happen at Amazon. RetailMeNot found that shoppers would spread around 40% of their sales budget to competing retailers like Best Buy, Macy’s and Target, which launched alternative discount events alongside Prime Day.
Amazon shares were down 2% in Tuesday trading.
If there’s a silver lining for shoppers, it’s that prices are falling in Prime Day’s biggest spending categories, according to online inflation data tracked by Adobe’s Digital Price Index. . Clothing, the largest Prime Day spending category thanks to the event’s proximity to back-to-school, is seeing prices drop three percentage points from 2021, RetailMeNot found. Electronics, jewelry, home decor and appliances were also down.
The price increases were led by categories including groceries, pet food and tools, and home improvement, Adobe said.
On Wednesday, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics will release inflation data for June. It is expected to show continued price spikes, reflecting rising food and gasoline prices, the White House said Monday.