Is Amazon.com Inc.’s Prime Day just like Black Friday, only in July? No. Since its inception, it has been significantly better for shoppers and remained so in 2018, according to an analysis by BestBlackFriday.com, a website that tracks Black Friday deals.
The analysis, which is based on a basket of more than 160 popular items and category-wide discounts, finds that 67% of 2018 Prime Day prices were lower than last November’s lowest Black Friday prices, while 15% of Prime Day offers were the same as on Black Friday, which is the Friday after Thanksgiving.
Since its inception, Prime Day has been a better day for bargain hunters than Black Friday, says Phil Dengler, co-founder of BestBlackFriday.com. “Black Friday is pretty good, but if you want to guarantee you’ll get the best price, Prime Day is definitely that day,” he says.
BestBlackFriday.com annually compares Prime Day deals to the sale prices offered on the same or very comparable items and categories during the preceding Black Friday on Amazon.com and other retailers such as Target Corp. (No. 17), Walmart Inc. (No. 3), and Best Buy Co. Inc. (No. 8). For 2018, BestBlackFriday.com analyzed deals gleaned from Amazon news releases, spotlight deals on the website and other hot sellers.
In 2017 and 2016, according to BestBlackFriday.com data, Amazon offered an even greater percentage of deals that beat Black Friday. In 2017, 76% of Prime Day deals were better than Black Friday deals. In 2016, that number was 77%.
Dengler says Amazon devices—such as Fire tablets, streaming sticks, Kindle e-readers and Echo smart speakers—had been marked down heavily for Black Friday. In many cases, those products probably could not be marked down much more, contributing to a higher percentage of “ties” this year than in 2017.
“Out of 17 Amazon device deals analyzed, six Prime Day prices were better than Black Friday, seven Prime Day prices were the same as Black Friday, ” Dengler says. That group of 17 items also included four products that were introduced in 2018, so comparisons with Black Friday prices were not available. Among the ties were the Kindle six-inch e-reader, on sale for $49.99 (a $30 discount), and the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition tablet, offered at $89.99 (a $40 discount).
BestBlackFriday.com also analyzed the impact of the website glitches suffered during Prime Day. Eric Jones, also a co-founder of the website, says Amazon’s technical problems likely cost the retailer $1 million to $2 million in sales per minute when both the website site and the Amazon shopping app were down. “If we recognize that there’s likely a huge surge of traffic and thus sales at the onset of the event, we expect this loss figure to be even higher,” Jones says.
Site monitoring service Down Detector says Amazon’s biggest problems occurred during the first 63 minutes of the Prime Day sale, which started at 3 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Based on that data and its own analysis, Internet Retailer estimates the website errors cost Amazon $72.4 million in revenue from U.S. consumers alone during Prime Day.
Internet Retailer’s early analysis shows Amazon grew sales more than 66% over the 36-hour sale compared with Prime Day 2017, in spite of its technical issues on Monday and thanks to the sale of Amazon’s private-label products, such as Fire Sticks.
Amazon.com Inc. says 2018’s 36-hour Prime Day sale was its largest shopping event ever. When comparing 36-hour periods, this Prime Day surpassed Cyber Monday, Black Friday and 2017’s Prime Day, the e-commerce giant said in a statement. The statement says Amazon signed up more new Prime members on July 16 than any previous day in its history.