Despite server overload that caused shopping downtime, last week’s Amazon Prime Day was the biggest sales day in company history, surpassing Cyber Monday, Black Friday and last year’s Prime Day, which held the previous top sales record. Prime offered more than a million deals worldwide, exclusively to Prime members. During this year’s event, Prime members bought more than 100 million different products, including best sellers like the Fire TV stick with Alexa voice remote and Echo Dot. For the first time, Prime members also enjoyed a week of savings at Whole Foods Market with organic strawberries being the best-selling product.
“Prime Day offers us a unique opportunity to thank Prime members with our best deals,” said Jeff Wilke, CEO Worldwide Consumer of Amazon, in a statement. “Extending Prime Day to a day and a half this year allowed us to further reward members with unbeatable deals, access to exclusive new products and unforgettable experiences that highlight the many benefits of a Prime membership. All of this was made possible because of our many valued associates – the global team that continues to make Prime Day bigger and better.”
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Other highlights from Prime Day 2018 include:
- Prime members from 17 countries shopped Prime Day.
- Members from Australia, Singapore, the Netherlands and Luxembourg participated in Prime Day for the first time.
- More members joined Amazon Prime than any previous day in company history.
- Customers purchased millions of Fire TV devices, and it was the biggest day for Echo devices with screens including Echo Show and Echo Spot.
- Each of the following categories had more than 5 million items sold: apparel, beauty products, computer accessories, PCs and toys.
- Millions of customers globally streamed Unboxing Prime Day events including an Amazon Music concert starring Ariana Grande, Alessia Cara, Julie Michaels and Kelsea Ballerini in New York, and the PUBG Squad Showdown hosted by Twitch Prime, featuring a performance by deadmau5, in Los Angeles.
- Small- and medium-sized businesses “far exceeded $1 billion in sales” on Prime Day.
Highlights from Prime members in the U.S. include:
- July 17 was the biggest day for the sale of smart home devices, with more than 1 million devices sold.
- The Ring Video Doorbell Pro sold out, and Ring had its biggest day on Amazon on July 16.
- Members bought more than 300,000 Instant Pots (6 quart) and 150,000 LifeStraw Personal Water Filters.
- 23 and Me DNA Test was also a top seller.
About that glitch… According to CNBC, Amazon did not secure enough servers to handle the huge surge in traffic, causing a technical failure during the first 15 minutes of Prime. To meet demand, Amazon had to manually add servers. Alexa, Prime Now and Twitch also reported problems during this time. CNBC reports that the outage lasted for hours, but it had little impact on this year’s 36-hour Prime Day event.
It is almost unfathomable that a technology company like Amazon could experience a technical glitch of such big proportions, but even the best companies have unforeseen issues sometimes. Based on the numbers, Amazon’s unplanned vulnerability and its technical difficulties didn’t seem to stop shoppers. We anticipate that Amazon will completely dissect the issues that played a factor in this year’s glitch and ramp up their efforts to prepare for unexpected surges of activity next year.
Bottom line: the company was successful in continuing to add new Prime members to its membership program, despite a recent price increase (now $119 a year). Shoppers around the world continue to see value in the many perks and benefits a Prime membership offers