Amazon’s fourth annual Prime Day has reportedly reeled in just over $3.5 billion in sales, surpassing both Cyber Monday and Black Friday in popularity.
According to reports from online price-tracking firm, Feedvisor and e-commerce firm Zentail, Amazon’s 36-hour event attracted 59 percent more sales than it did for the same period the week before, accumulating a whopping $3.5 billion in sales. Although, estimations from Internet Retailer in the US reveal that sales were set back by as much as $72.4 million due to early technical glitches. These figures were calculated by averaging expected sales on the US site with the length of the site outages and glitches.
“It wasn’t all a walk in the (dog) park, we had a ruff start – we know some customers were temporarily unable to make purchases,” the company said in a statement acknowledging the site’s glitches.
Customers trying to navigate through the site during the sale were complaining of receiving 404 errors, while others were taken through a seemingly endless stream of advertisements, without being able to add any items to their carts.
Early estimates from Coresight Research suggested Prime Day would bring in $3.4 billion in revenue, up 40 percent from last year, a significant jump from last year’s $2.4 billion. Despite site outages, and lost sales of more than $70 million, the company still managed to pull in figures that surpassed early predictions.
Analysts believe the longer sale time likely played a hand in the improved performance, as the sale ran six hours longer than it did last year, increasing from 30-hours in 2017 to 36 in 2018.
According to Jeff Wilke, CEO worldwide consumer at Amazon, the extended sale duration was an opportunity for the global juggernaut to give back to its customers.
“Prime Day offers us a unique opportunity to thank Prime members with our best deals,” he said 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.”
While Amazon hasn’t released any confirmed sales figures, the online marketplace has revealed that Prime members purchased more than 100 million items across the globe. In Australia, the PlayStation 4 Pro 1TB console was the most popular product among consumers, followed closely by FIFA 18 for PlayStation 4 and Philips Hue lightbulbs.
Amazon also says that its membership base increased tenfold, as the company reportedly welcomed “more new Prime members on July 16 than any previous day in Amazon history”.
Although Prime Day didn’t just help boost sales on Amazon’s 17 participating marketplaces, with a number of competing retailers across the globe stepping up to take a jab at the e-commerce giant in the build-up to the event’s launch on July 16.
In Australia, Kogan.com offered extended free shipping, as well as end of financial year sales, while eBay promoted a sale that touted “no membership fees”.
On July 17, eBay promoted offers on social media allowing consumers to save $25 on purchases worth $119 or more, the exact price of an American Prime membership.
A week before Amazon’s annual sale was scheduled to start; eBay announced it would offer exclusive deals, with free shipping and no monthly memberships.
“Why spend money on monthly membership fees to get deals on the things you want,” eBay wrote in the release announcing the sale.
The sale, which coincided with Amazon’s self-made Prime Day shopping event, included deals on electronics, fashion and sports equipment, as well as other site-wide specials.
Over in the states, one of Amazon’s biggest local competitors, Walmart, also ran a competing sale, with no membership fees and free two-day shipping.
The retail giant promoted “huge savings with Ultimate Summer Specials”. In 2017, the site received a boost in traffic from 363.7 million in June to 400.8 million in July, over the Prime Day period. This year, it seems the department store picked up its online game by offering competing sales to draw consumers away from Amazon to its own e-store.
After Amazon announced its record sales results for Prime Day 2018, the company’s stocks soared, briefly reaching $US1858.88, giving Amazon a stock market value of $US902 billion. This milestone 21-year trajectory brings it close to dislodging Apple as the jewel of Wall Street.