Amazon.com Inc.’s 36-hour Prime Day sale became its largest shopping event ever in Amazon history, surpassing its previous largest shopping days including Cyber Monday, Black Friday and Prime Day 2017, when comparing 36-hour periods, the web giant said in a statement.
Globally, Prime members purchased more than 100 million products during the 36-hour sale that kicked off on July 16 and ran through July 17. More shoppers signed up to be Prime members on July 16 than any other day in the retail giant’s history. Amazon recently announced that more than 100 million global consumers are Prime members, and Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) estimates that 95 million members are in the U.S.
Amazon said its top selling products on Prime Day 2018 in the U.S. include:
- Amazon’s Fire TV Stick
- Instant Pot 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi Use
- 23 and Me DNA Test
- LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
The sales event wasn’t without issues, however, as many shoppers saw error messages and broken landing pages when the deals first went live on July 16. Many shoppers couldn’t add items to their cart or had to try several times to checkout. Within a few hours, Amazon fixed the issues.
“Amazon’s Prime Day ‘early jitters’ with website glitches had minimal impact on the sales success of the annual event,” says Moody’s lead retail analyst Charlie O’Shea.
Marketplace sellers also had a lucrative day. Amazon says that marketplace sales “far exceeded” $1 billion in sales during the shopping event.
In fact, the technical issues worked to the advantage of marketplace seller Perfect Bar, which makes refrigerated protein bars from peanut and almond butter. The company panicked when Prime Day began and shoppers experienced glitches because it had beefed up inventory in anticipation of the promotion.
But then the power of social media took hold. Disappointed shoppers posted screengrabs of Amazon’s error message and said they wanted to buy their favorite protein bars, putting the product and links to its Amazon deal in front of about 20,000 potential new customers. That generated social buzz for the product that boosted traffic when Amazon recovered, says Jeff Perkel, director of e-commerce for the San Diego-based company.
“It was kind of nerve-wracking when noon hit and we started seeing a bunch of dog photos,” Perkel says, referring to the images on Amazon’s error page. “Then we started seeing things on social media we couldn’t dream up. The glitch turned into positive impressions for us.”
Beyond Amazon, other retailers offered sales on their own e-commerce sites to capitalize on shoppers who were price comparing and in a buying mood. The strategy worked for Target Corp. (No. 17), as it announced that it had its highest traffic and sales day in 2018 during its one-day sale on July 17.
Bloomberg New contributed to this story.Favorite