The first Amazon Prime Day was three years ago. Ever since then, the shopping holiday, characterized by very deep discounts and limited time offers, has grown in size. Last year was a banner year for Prime Day, with little-known brands getting catapulted into the spotlight with sales success beyond their wildest dreams. But what happened this year?
Amazon did very well during Prime Day. Their own hardware devices, including the Amazon Fire TV stick and Echo smart speaker, were top sellers worldwide. This is in keeping with what we’ve seen in other years and reinforces Amazon’s strategy to do everything it can to keep its customers interacting with the world through their devices.
But there were definitely some problems. Amazon’s business practices, especially the conditions in which workers process orders, have come under criticism worldwide. There were strikes, boycotts, and an active social media campaign encouraging people to skip Prime Day. It’s not clear if these efforts are related to a multi-hour ‘glitch’ that impacted the site on July 16th and 17th. What is clear is that these outages resulted in some vendors losing significant sales.
There were some winners on Prime Day. Brands who have performed well on Prime Day before, such as Instant Pot, saw their success repeat. Overall, Amazon Prime Day sales topped $4 billion. It’s interesting to note that this result happened with relatively minimal advertising on Amazon’s part, as the event enjoyed tremendous word of mouth among shoppers, as well as fairly significant media coverage.
All things considered, brands who participated in Prime Day saw sales growth, although not necessarily as much as they could have had everything gone as planned. Amazon walked away as the clear winner, which means brands will have another opportunity to consider if they want to participate in Prime Day next year.