A prime success or a prime disappointment? Amazon has released its own internal statistics on the success of it’s first-ever "Prime Day" on July 15, and while consumers generally voiced negative opinions on the true value of the sale billed "bigger than Black Friday" a funny thing happened for Amazon – it actually worked.
Amazon Prime Day was in many respects bigger than the day after Thanksgiving just due to the sheer volume of deals offered by the online retailer.
Amazon went the quantity over quality route, offering consumers who had already mentally signed themselves to spend money deals like Franklin Half Dollars for $70 (that are really only worth $0.50, mind you), 2-packs of Balaclava (think bank robber masks) for just under $12 and a 90 count of dishwasher detergent capsules for $13.95 – a deal so great, Amazon championed it in its home page banner ads.
All of these great deals could be had if you were a $99 annual subscriber to Amazon’s Prime service, which offers consumers free two-day shipping, unlimited music streaming, instant video and over 500,000 free eBooks for Kindle. Anyone could also sign up for a free 30-day trial to enjoy the sales and fast shipping before cancelling at any time.
For those who shop online regularly, Prime can more than pay for itself, but while Prime Day was bigger than Black Friday, bigger doesn’t mean better than Black Friday.
Amazon would tend to disagree.
On July 15, 398 items were ordered per-second, with customers ordering 34.4 million items in total. The retailer sold 51,000 Bose Headphones on Prime Day after only selling 8 one week before. Year-over-year sales were up 93% from July 16, 2014.
For Amazon, Prime Day was bigger than its biggest Black Friday ever in 2014, while the online retailer had it’s highest daily sign up total in history, gaining hundreds of thousands of new Prime members.
Amazon was skeptical going into the Prime Day, but the results of the mega sale spoke for themselves. Prime Vice President Greg Greeley foreshadowed an encore next year in a statement “"Going into this, we weren't sure whether Prime Day would be a one-time thing or if it would become an annual event. After yesterday's results, we'll definitely be doing this again."
Amazon, who is an expert in this field learned a thing or two about consumer behavior on Prime Day. When people expect great deals, they want deals on products they will actually use. They may however, actually still buy these products because they’ve psychologically committed themselves to getting a deal.
Sure, Amazon can make Prime Day better by cutting down on the volume of useless clearance crap next year, but the numbers speak for themselves. Why fix something that generated record revenue volume?
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