Israelis spend NIS 8m on Amazon Prime Day

Amazon parcels Photo: Reuters

20,000 Israeli customers made purchases during the campaign, according to figures from Isracard, up 35% from last year.

The volume of purchases by Israelis on Amazon's Prime Day bargain campaign, which lasted for only 36 hours, was NIS 7-8 million. It is believed that 20,000 Israeli customers made purchases during this campaign, while it was possible for one customer to make multiple purchases.

Figures given exclusively to "Globes" by Isracard, which accounts for half of the credit card sector, show that the volume of purchases was 35% higher during the campaign than in the corresponding campaign last year (Prime Day 2017), when the campaign lasted for 30 hours, rather than the 36 hours this year. The figures also show that the number of deals grew 50% in comparison with 2017 and that the number of customers was up 40%.

In order to take part in the Prime Day bargain campaign, customers had to register for Amazon's Prime Club (the first month is free, with a $13 monthly fee afterwards). Isracard said that the average purchase in the campaign was NIS 210 ($57) and the average amount per deal among men was three times as much as among women. This figure explains reports by the delivery companies of the arrival of large packages, including barbecue equipment, work tools, auto parts, etc.

Figures from Israel Credit Cards-Cal (ICC-Cal) also reflect the mad rush by buyers during Prime Day. The number of transactions through ICC-Cal was 66% higher than during Prime Day 2017.

Enthusiasm among Israeli shoppers was not confined to Prime Day. In July 2-12, when Amazon offered free delivery, figures from Leumi Card show that Amazon's daily average sales turnover increased by a factor of 2.3. Leumi Card adds that the average number of deals per customer was 1.7.

"Amazon informed us that the big wave is on its way to us"

It is not yet over. Amazon is now continuing its free delivery bargain, this time for those spending over $75 (i.e. more than the customs duties exemption ceiling). Following this bargain, Amazon's delivery suppliers were told to prepare themselves: "for a substantial increase in the volume of deliveries to Israel," Gaash Customs Clearing and International Forwarding Service founder and CEO Ronen Simgi told "Globes." Gaash is the channel through which Israeli purchases from Amazon actually arrive. Gaash divides them among suppliers for distribution purposes. "Amazon notified us to be ready to receive a large quantity of parcels. At the same time, they wanted to check other things having to do with logistics, but I can't tell you that. They asked me what our capacity for receiving packages was and I answered that it was unlimited. We informed all of the suppliers, started working seven days a week, and reinforced the teams. Israelis ordered 50,000 packages in the free delivery bargain just in the past few days. It's madness. It's an increase in purchases beyond the ordinary quantities and especially big packages are arriving. Amazon informed us that the big wave is on its way to us."

"In the current campaign, Amazon is examining for the third time what Israeli buyers like, especially whether they are willing to forgo the VAT exemption in return for free delivery," a source in the sector told "Globes." "Amazon is channeling the purchase figures to different segments in the market: first of all what Israelis are buying, secondly how much they buy taking into account the VAT exemption, and finally how important the cost of delivery is in buying considerations. In the preceding campaign, when Amazon offered free delivery for an $80 purchase, 60,000-70,000 deals were made in just a few days. When Amazon received enough data, they withdrew the bargain with no warning. Prime Day is also a trial of the tools for the Israeli market."

The source added that he believed that Amazon would launch a Hebrew website as early as this October, including adaption to products that Israelis like.

Moshe Alpert, CEO of foxer.co.il, a recently founded website for finding bargains and lower prices on Amazon, adds, "Amazon has been making a lot of changes in the past week on a daily basis. There are products that are suddenly no longer being delivered to Israel, delivery prices are going up and down, some products are being delivered for free and other not, some cases in which products ordered are divided into two groups with separate delivery fees, and so on. The impression is that Amazon is fine tuning its deliveries to Israel and trying to find a formula that will encourage buying while at the same time not costing too much."

Alpert also says that Amazon is conducting similar checks in other market, including Taiwan, which was also part of the free delivery bonanza with unrestricted weight and a $60 minimum, compared with $75-80 for Israelis, two weeks ago. "These experiments by Amazon are taking place for a very limited number of countries. What the countries all have in common is that they are outside Europe, have no local Amazon offices, and are highly developed economically in comparison with other countries in their region. Israel fits right into this group. In addition, these are countries in which Internet consumption and shopping culture is continually expanding," Alpert says.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on July 25, 2018

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2018

Amazon parcels Photo: Reuters
Amazon parcels Photo: Reuters
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