Amazon bets on influencers to drive sales for Prime Day

To promote Prime Day 2022, Amazon announced today that its QVC-style livestream shopping market Amazon Live is hosting live chats with creators talking about Prime Day deals.

The event will also feature celebrity cameos, including comedian Kevin Hart, Australian model Miranda Kerr, actress Kyle Richards, as well as American TV personalities Kandi Burruss and “Selling Sunset” star Chrishell Stause. Viewers watching the Prime Day livestreams can purchase the featured products and brands through a scrolling carousel below the video.

Amazon is using influencers to help the e-commerce giant have a successful sales event at a time when shoppers are fearful of a potential recession and, understandably, being more conservative with their spending during a time of inflation. In its recent earnings, the company reported a loss of $3.8 billion, so the stakes are high for Amazon to boost its sales.

The company believes Amazon Live is one answer to its current struggle, and its decision to lean harder on influencers for Prime Day 2022 is an effort to reach easily influenced shoppers — mainly Gen Z — in a time when the creator economy is expanding.

A lot of Gen Z shoppers trust the creators they follow, and Gen Z makes up 40% of influencer-oriented shoppers, based on a June 2021 study by creator marketing platform LTK. The study also indicated that 92% of all Gen Z adults (ages 18-25) have purchased an item based on a social media influencer’s recommendations.

This also isn’t the first time this year we’ve seen Amazon implementing the skills of creators and big names in hopes of having a successful Prime Day. On June 21, Amazon began offering early Prime Day deals on Amazon Live during livestreams with influencers and celebrities such as Porsha Williams from “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” “Vanderpump Rules” star Lala Kent, actress Hilary Duff and TikTok creators Joe and Frank Mele.

The e-commerce giant saw success with its Amazon Live Prime Day streams during Prime Day 2021. According to the company’s blog, “tens of millions of customers” watched the streams on Amazon Live and engaged with creators over 100,000 times via its live chat feature. The company also boasted that when an Acer convertible laptop and Sony headphones were featured in the livestreams, both sold out in less than 25 minutes.

Market research firm Digital Commerce 360 reported that Amazon sold goods worth $11.2 billion during last year’s Prime Day, up 7.7% from $10.4 billion in 2020.

Last year’s success explains why Amazon may be hosting a second Prime Day in the fall.

Amazon Live launched in 2019 with the goal of establishing itself as the leading destination for live online shopping. Typical streams on Amazon Live last for an hour or more, and about a dozen products are featured during that time.

However, some influencers still aren’t happy with its live-shopping platform. Two creators told Business Insider last month that they have struggled to build up an audience on Amazon Live and it is too time-consuming for the little amount of money earned.

The commission varies for influencers since there are different rates for various categories. Based on the rates published on Amazon’s website, electronics earns an influencer a 4% cut, whereas luxury beauty products net 10%.

Because many already have followers on YouTube, Instagram and TikTok, promoting products and earning from them is more accessible on these platforms. So, while Amazon Live may help boost sales for Prime Day, in general, the platform will likely remain the last resort for a lot of creators (and viewers) as more popular influencer-focused platforms stand at the forefront.