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Amazon promises a ‘better experience’ next Prime Day

24 Jul 2018

Undeterred by a glitch that temporarily blocked their access to Amazon’swebsite, a record number of Prime Day shoppers spent an estimated $4.2 billion on more than 100 million products during the sale.

Sales were up 33 percent from a year ago according to estimates from Wedbush Securities Inc. that were provided to Bloomberg. In 2017, Amazon Prime Day sales amounted to an estimated $2.41 billion, per Statista.

Amazon doesn’t release sales figures and Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter told Bloomberg that his estimate was based on information the company did release, including that it shipped more than 100 million products and that small and mid-sized businesses sold more than $1 billion worth of goods in the first 24 hours.

Coresight Research earlier estimated that Prime Day 2018 sales would reach a minimum of $3.4 billion, CNBC reported.

Jeff Wilke, Amazon’s CEO of worldwide retail, said that his team was disappointed by the tech hiccup and that the company was already working on ways to prevent it from happening again, per CNBC.

“Tech teams are already working to improve our architecture, and I’m confident we’ll deliver an even better experience next year,” Wilke said.

Popular items purchased in the United States on Prime Day included 300,000 Instant Pot pressure cookers and 150,000 LifeStraw personal water filters, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMNZN) reported, saying its own Fire TV Stick, Echo Show and Echo Spot also sold well.

Organic strawberries were the most-bought item among Prime shoppers at Whole Foods locations. Prime members who took advantage of extra discounts during a week of extra savings at the grocery chain, which Amazon acquired in August 2017, saved “millions of dollars,” the company said.

The error message some shoppers encountered at the beginning of the 36-hour sale occurred because Amazon failed to secure enough servers to handle the traffic surge, CNBC learned in a review of internal company communications. The glitch prompted Amazon to launch a scaled-down back-up front page, temporarily suspend international traffic, and add servers manually, CNBC reported.

Amazon had reported sales growth of more than 60 percent on Prime Day 2017, per CNBC, surpassing 2016’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales combined.

The company said it signed up more new Prime members on July 16, 2018 than on any previous day in Amazon history. In April, the number of Prime members worldwide topped 100 million.

Prime memberships cost $119 per year, but a JP Morgan analysis estimated the annual value of the service at $785 a year, Business Insider reported. 

Target and eBay countered Prime Day with their own online sales, and other retailers, including Bed Bath & Beyond, Kohl’s and Macy’s, also offered deals. Last year on Prime Day, department stores recorded the biggest drop in foot traffic of the entire summer, Fortune reported.

Source: Biz Journals