Greg Greeley, Vice President of Amazon Prime has said, “We’ll definitely be doing this again.” The sequel to Amazon’s personal alternative to holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday and Singles Day (China’s version of the last two that helped Ali Baba rake in $14.3 billion) helped draw much more sales than last year. They experienced an overall surge in sales this year that exceeded expectations and on the whole, didn’t run in to any problems.
Amazon’s sales surged to over 60% worldwide and 50% in the US. R. J. Hottovy, Morningstar’s consumer strategist said that he estimated an incremental sale of $500 to $600 million on Prime Day and that the numbers just “blew me away”. Sucharita Mulpuru, Forrester analyst told CNBC that since Amazon accounted for nearly a third of sales during the $3 billion Cyber Monday, she wouldn’t be surprised if Prime Day turned out to be a billion dollar holiday. This was in part due to publicity of the event on social media; last year consumers were surprised and confused about the sudden announcement and didn’t have time to respond to it.
That’s not to say that the day didn’t have any hiccups. Just hours in, users started to report that they couldn’t check out items in their shopping carts. Though Amazon solved the problem in a few hours, this either showed that their servers were overloaded or that there was slight problem with their inventory.
Amazon wouldn’t say how many people signed up for the Prime Membership as the day approached. However, the number of vendors participating in the day’s deal was double the number last year and sales for devices like the $15 Amazon Fire stick (the top seller of the day), the Echo and the Kindle E-readers and Fire Tablets were triple the amount last year. Amazon also revealed that their biggest sellers in terms of movies to rent or purchase on the Amazon video app were Deadpool, Kung Fu Panda and 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi.
Amazon also sold 90,000 televisions, about a million pairs of shoes and over two million toys on Prime Day. In the U.S, a pressure cooker fetched top dollar while the electric toothbrush and Bluetooth connectivity were big in the UK. France and Belgium though, seemed quite take with Seasons 1-4 of Game of Thrones while Japan, for some reason, chose Calbee Breakfast Cereal as their top purchase (Yay nutrition?). Other big purchases included headphones (200,000 units), iRobot Roomba 614 Vacuum Cleaning Robots (23,000 units) and Lenovo Laptops (14,000 units)
Amazon Prime Members on average spend $1200 a year on the site while non members spend $500. Prime Day is first and foremost a chance for Amazon to boost popularity for its premium membership and in that it has succeeded.
Amazon’s Prime Day was created last year to celebrate the 20th birthday of the online retailer and brought in incremental sales of over $4oo million. The response was lukewarm last year since Amazon ran in to inventory problems but they were much better prepared this year and seemed to have learned from their mistakes. Amazon Prime membership costs an annual fee of $99 and gives first timers a 30 day trial.