TECHNOLOGY

Prime Day recovers, sales on pace to break records

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Despite a troubled start, Amazon’s Prime Day is staying on track to beat last year’s record sales.

According to early results from Feedvisor, an analytics company that gathers intelligence for Amazon sellers, sales during the first 12 hours of the fourth annual Prime Day event were 80% higher than sales during the same 12-hour period last week. In addition, total cumulative orders were 69% higher than last year, The Street reported.

Specifically, small and medium-sized businesses worldwide have exceeded more than $1 billion in sales on Amazon since yesterday, according to the online giant.

Among the sale’s best sellers include Amazon’s Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote; the Instant Pot 6 quart pressure cooker, and Amazon’s Echo Dot smart speaker. The site has sold out of the Toshiba 50-inch 4K Ultra HD Fire TV Edition, as well as the Ring Video Doorbell Pro. Amazon has also sold over four times as many Ring systems compared to last year’s Prime Day sale, according to the company.

Amazon’s 36-hour shopping event kicked off on July 16, at 3 p.m. EST. However, Prime Day got off to a rocky start when the online giant’s website and mobile app both suffered an outage just as the sale commenced. Both online and mobile shoppers faced a variety of error messages featuring the “dogs of Amazon” while trying to shop for Prime Day deals. Some users were initially unable to enter the site, while others were caught in a loop of pages urging them to “Shop all deals.”

During the time that the site and app were both completely down, Amazon could have lost between $1 million and $2 million per minute, according to sales data from Statistica.

Industry observers also questioned the impact the glitch would have on sales, overall.

“Amazon has set the standard that customers have come to expect from a seamless and convenient shopping experience. They serve as the model that other brands strive to emulate and duplicate,” said Jeff Cheal, director of product strategy, personalization, campaign & analytics at Episerver. “If Prime members can’t shop for the deals they were promised on Prime Day — Amazon’s highly publicized bell-ringing event — it means Amazon has fumbled in delivering on the very premise that has made it into the retail juggernaut it is today.”

Amazon was able to overcome the snafu, and continued to build momentum. The site continued to feature deals, and more than three quarters (76%) of Prime Day prices beat Black Friday prices, according to BestBlackFriday.com.

Customers that did manage to shop successfully during Prime Day’s launch quickly set the tone for the sale, as they “ordered more items compared to the first hour [of Prime Day] last year,” according to a tweet from Amazon at 5 p.m. on July 16.

Prime Day ends at 3 a.m. EST on July 18. When it concludes, total sales for this year’s event could exceed last year’s total by 60% or more, according Feedvisor.

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