Prime Day delivers from a business perspective, but was it what consumers wanted?
Earlier this month, Amazon announced the first-ever Prime Day, a shopping holiday devoted to Amazon Prime subscribers, who were treated to numerous deals. Amazon proclaimed the sales holiday would see more discounts and specials than Black Friday, garnering a lot of enthusiasm from shoppers across the globe. Additionally, many marketplace sellers were eagerly anticipating another shopping holiday to sell goods to customers.
From a business perspective, Prime Day delivered. Amazon announced unit sales on Prime Day eclipsed the largest Black Friday the company had ever experienced, with more than 34.4 million products sold over the course of the holiday – that’s approximately 400 units per second. Amazon saw a large uptick in Prime subscriptions as well, with the marketplace reporting “hundreds of thousands of new members.” Sellers using Fulfillment by Amazon were able to capitalize on the surge in sales as well, with every party enjoying a healthy mid-summer bump.
Marketplace sellers were among the parties to benefit from Prime Day. Businesses that utilize Fulfillment by Amazon as one of their order fulfillment services could partake in the event, allowing them to tap into the hype surrounding the sales holiday. While most evidence is anecdotal, several retailers wrote into Multichannel Merchant to talk about their sales results.
Tech Armor, an Amazon marketplace seller that specializes in screen protectors and other accessories for mobile devices, was one of the many retailers that thrived on Prime Day.
“We have already sold as much Tech Armor as we would have on Black Friday and there are tons of deals on our best selling Tech Armor products all day today,” said Joseph Jaconi, co-founder and general manager of Tech Armor. “We could not be happier with the results.”
Best Bully Sticks, a seller of natural dog treats and other nutritional goods for canines, was another marketplace seller that saw a notable uptick in sales.
“Loved participating in Prime Day,” Avrum Elmaki, CEO of Best Bully Sticks, told Amazon. “We had great results today and sold out within hours. More importantly our overall business did four times more sales on Prime Day than it did last Wednesday. FBA continues to be a growth lever for our business and Prime Day is one of many reasons to join and grow with FBA.”
Meeting customer expectations
While many people participated in the shopping holiday and it was deemed quite successful from a commercial perspective, some customers were quick to claim that Prime Day did not live up to their personal expectations. With Amazon drawing comparisons between the shopping holiday and Black Friday, many people anticipated sharp discounts on a number of hot products. However, many of the sales were on novelty items, common household goods or products that were not really in demand at the moment (for example, the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy).
Multichannel Merchant reported that many customers took to social media to complain about some of the deals, likening the event to a garage sale in which Amazon was simply looking to offload leftover inventory. For example, some of the items up for grabs included a VHS tape rewinder, 55-gallon trash bags and duct tape. A poll conducted by Multichannel Merchant found that as many as 60 percent of shoppers felt gypped by the shopping holiday. So while Prime Day was a huge commercial success and people did find things to buy, many were disappointed with overall quality of the event.
This just goes to show the importance of keeping expectations in line when promoting and marketing an event, whether it is a sale, the launch of a new product line, changes to policies or the creation of new service offerings. Amazon drawing comparisons to Black Friday likely was not a good first move for the launch of the holiday, particularly given some of the deals that Amazon had lined up. Marketing and promoting events is important, but retailers also want to keep disappointment to a minimum.
Regardless, the sales holiday wound up being a tremendous success. Should Amazon make a few tweaks, the event could wind up being a significant boon for both sellers and customers in the years to come.