According to Amazon, Prime Day may well shake out to be the biggest single-day shopping event in the firm’s 20+ year history - with Amazon reporting sales were up a full 60 percent over last year's Prime Day event.
“To those customers who tried Prime for the first time and our long time members, thank you for a great Prime Day,” said Greg Greeley, Vice President, Amazon Prime, in a statement. “Our teams around the world will keep working to add more and more to your membership, so Prime continues to make your life better every day. We are already looking forward to our Prime Day celebration next year.”
It was a good day for Amazon and an especially good day for Amazon Echo and Echo Dot, which sold at a rates three to seven times higher than they did during Prime Day 2016. It was also a good day for marketplace sellers on Amazon — according to reports, third-party sellers had unloaded 50 percent more items on the site by noon local time (1900 GMT) than in the same time frame last year.
So what were the overall sales figures? As always, Amazon and Amazon alone knows — and it hasn’t released any hard numbers just yet. Still, the estimates for last year were about $500 million on the day — and that was when Amazon was still measuring a day in 24 hours, as opposed to the 30-hour upgrade it gave a day this year for Prime Day. By 3 pm, Amazon had posted the day was “on pace to be the biggest global shopping event in Amazon history,” with customers in the U.S. ordering more than 6,000 deals per minute. This year was also Prime Day's most global incarnation so far with Mexico, China and India new to the roster and joining 10 other countries already participating in the events.
And, of course, Amazon’s shopping holiday is not quite Amazon’s alone at this point — Macy’s, Walmart and Best Buy were among the retailers that decided to celebrate the holiday (though they didn't usually call it Prime Day — Macy's, for example, went with “Black Friday in July.” Amazon was still the big winner on the day - by price and by shopping interest.
So where were the biggest hits...
Echo (And Echo Dot's) Big Day
While Echo got a lot of the press yesterday - the most popular item sold during Prime Day was actually its smaller - less expensive cousin - the Echo Dot. Specific sales figures were not broken out - Amazon did report that the devices were "selling at a rate of thousands per minute”, (which does match up with their 3 pm claim about 6,000 deals per minute)
The Dot, Amazon noted, didn't just have a strong performance for an Amazon device - though it was their top selling product - it was “also the best-selling product from any manufacturer in any category across Amazon globally.”
Good news for Amazon - since the Echo and Echo dot facilitate sales on the Amazon marketplace - meaning yesterday big bump in sales are likely predictive of good things to come, particularly during the holiday season when customer can put those new AI-connected personal assistants to good use ordering their Thanksgiving dinner fixing and Christmas gifts.
"The voice-controlled assistant market is hot right now, and by offering a reasonably priced device that does a lot of things — and the promise of many more skills to come — Amazon is positioning itself as a leader in this market," said eMarketer analyst Victoria Petrock.
And of course Amazon had other devices to sell for Prime Day. The firm also reported that the Amazon Fire TV Edition of the Element 55-inch 4K Ultra HD smart LED TV was “the best-selling TV deal in Amazon history.”
Other, Somewhat Less Expected Hits
One might have easily anticipated that that Amazon devices would do well on Prime Day - less expected was the success of the Instant Pot pressure cooker, which Amazon promoted and reported as one of the day's more popular deals. Also a crowd favorite, 23andMe DNA tests; the TP-Link Wi-Fi Smart Plug, and Sony Playstation 4. And that was the U.S.
Mexican consumers, joining the Prime Day part for the first time, favored Apple Certified Lightning to USB Cable and bought a lot of Nintendo Switches, while Chinese customers coming aboard for their innaugural Prime Day Price Soothe and Glow Seahorse; and the bookset A brief history of humankind+ A brief history of tomorrow. Italian customers - in a move that should be surprising to no one - favored Caffe Vergnano 1882 Espresso machines, while Indian customers favored OnePlus 5 phone and the Seagate Expansion 1.5TB Portable External Driv