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Amazon Prime Day boosts e-commerce everywhere compared to last year

Amazon says Roombas, Instant Pots and Waterpiks were among the best selling products in the US.

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Amazon's Prime Day took place at a new time of year, and with consumers having endured months of pandemic restrictions.

Angela Lang/CNET

Online shoppers dropped some cash during Prime Day, and not just on Amazon.com. E-commerce sales for all retailers totaled more than $11 billion in the US, according to Adobe Analytics. Amazon didn't provide sales numbers for Prime Day, which took place over Jun. 21 and 22, but said shoppers bought more than 250 million items.

The shopping holiday took place under unusual circumstances, with consumers coming off more than a year of pandemic restrictions that caused people to rely more on online shopping. Before the pandemic, Amazon typically held Prime Day in July, but the company moved it to October in 2020. This year, the company said it would try a June Prime Day because many people travel during July. The numbers come from the Adobe Digital Economy Index.

Last year's Prime Day e-commerce total for all retailers was $10.4 billion, Adobe said, meaning sales grew by more than 6% from 2020. The two-day shopping holiday also appeared to lift sales for all online retailers compared with an average day in June, according to Adobe. Big retailers saw sales increase 29% over an average June day, and small retailers saw a lift of 21%.

US Prime shoppers were focused on home goods, with Roomba vacuums, Instant Pot cookers and Waterpik water flossers filling up virtual shopping carts. US customers also bought loads of Orgain brand protein powder, as well as 23-and-me DNA kits, Amazon said. The company didn't give numbers for how many of its own devices it sold but said the Fire TV Stick 4K with Alexa voice control was its most popular item. Customers bought a "record breaking number" of Fire TVs from brands including Toshiba and Insignia, Amazon said.

Small and medium businesses saw increased sales on Amazon as well, the e-commerce giant said. Shoppers spent $1.9 billion over the two-week lead up to Prime Day as part of a promotion offering $10 to shoppers who spent at least $10 on products from small businesses.

For those shopping somewhere other than Amazon, retail outlets with a physical presence had an edge, Adobe said. Sellers that offer in-store pickup for online purchases saw more customers making purchases after visiting their sites compared with retailers with no brick-and-mortar presence. The rate of visitors who made purchases was 10% for retailers with in-store pickup, compared with 3% for online-only outlets.

Correction, Jun. 24: This story has been changed to reflect that Prime Day took place in October in 2020 and in July in the years before that.