Prime Day Sales Exceed Expectations, Despite Site Crashes

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By Published On: July 18, 20180 Comments

In the first 10 hours of the sale, small and medium businesses on Amazon raked in more than $1 billion in sales, with the marketplace seeing 10 times its average daily sales during the 36-hour event.

Prime Day kicked off with strong global revenue this year, as the fourth annual shopping event brought in $1 billion in sales within the first 10 hours, with sellers praising the performance of their brands on the marketplace.

“Prime Day is just getting started for us”, Kelly Fedio from One Savvy Life said just hours after the sale commenced. “We’re already seeing 10 times our average daily sales”.

Jurgen Nebelung from Tea Forté, who claimed a product was selling every two seconds, echoed this.

“Prime Day has already been our biggest day ever. During peak hour, customers were purchasing one Tea Forte product every two seconds,” he said.

While Amazon hasn’t revealed any hard figures for the remainder of the sales event, a third-party report from Feedvisor has backed up Amazon’s claims that global Prime Day sales are “bigger than ever”.  According to Feedvisor, online shoppers spent 54 percent more in the first three hours of Prime Day this year than they did over the same time period during Prime Day in 2017.

Prime Day in Australia also yielded strong results, with the company saying in a press release that Prime Day attracted a record number of shoppers to the Australian marketplace, making it the biggest two days Amazon Australia has had since its launch in December 2017.

“Prime only recently launched in Australia, yet we were thrilled to see the number of Australian members visiting to make the most of the great savings available to them on Prime Day,” said Rocco Braeuniger, Country Manager of Amazon Australia.

“This exclusive shopping event, bringing Prime members 36 hours’ worth of fantastic deals, is just one of the many benefits available.  We have been humbled by the reception Prime has had here. It has exceeded our expectations and we look forward to bringing members even greater value and more exciting benefits.”

Sellers on Amazon’s local marketplace also said they experienced an uplift in sales, giving them confidence in their future selling with Amazon.

“Prime Day has resulted in a huge increase in sales for us, and it was as simple as enrolling our products into Fulfilment by Amazon – then Amazon does the rest. All of our deals performed really well – not only is this exciting for today, but also for the future of Checkered Choice on Amazon,” the CEO of Checkered Choice, Dale Burkitt said.

According to Amazon, the best selling Amazon device during the 36-hour sale event was the Echo Dot, while the Nintendo Switch lightening deal proved to be so popular, the company chose to run the deal a second time.

Huggies nappies were one of the most purchased items on the site, while brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Lorna Jane and Julius Marlow proved to be among the most popular ones on the site during Prime Day.

Although, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for Amazon, as the sale was plagued by site crashes and glitches, potentially costing the e-commerce giant millions in potential sales.

“It wasn’t all a walk in the (dog) park, we had a ruff start – we know some customers were temporarily unable to make purchases,” the company said in a statement acknowledging the site’s glitches.

Customers trying to navigate through the site during the sale were complaining of receiving 404 errors, while others were taken through a seemingly endless stream of advertisements, without being able to add any items to their carts.

Prime Day results

Amazon shoppers were receiving error messages during Prime Day 2018.


So far, Amazon has offered no details on what actually went wrong, only offering a brief comment on Twitter, claiming some customers were having problems, while “many were shopping successfully”.

Amazon Prime

Amazon experienced site-wide issues during Prime Day.

While the statement was likely released to ease consumer concern, Twitter users responded aggressively to the post, with many threatening to cancel their Prime memberships, which cost $59 a year in Australia and $119 in America.

“How do you plan on making it up to your customers?” one user asked, while others vented more openly, with one user calling out the un-caring apology.

“What the hell kind of apology is this Amazon? ‘Sorry, you guys can’t shop but look at our sales!’ You need to figure out who decided this was a great post to make to your growing number of angry customers.”

The site glitches did affect users globally, but the bulk of the issues seemed to impact shoppers on the American site.

Issues with the site reportedly began shortly after the sale officially kicked off at 3 pm ET, local time, on Monday, June 16, with glitches on the home page and broken links. Most consumers were unable to load anything, and those that did manage to select items and proceed to their cart were then faced with error messages.

By 4 pm, web performance firm, Catchpoint began running tests to see if they could determine what the issue was. The company was able to confirm that site load times were significantly slower than usual on both the desktop and the mobile site.

Desktop users reportedly had load times of up to 10 plus seconds, while mobile users had to wait as long as 30 seconds for the site to load, only to then receive an error message.

At 4:50 pm, almost two hours after the sale event started, the bulk of the issues had been resolved, but shoppers still had issues with Amazon’s shopping app until approximately 8.17 pm, and the product search function continued to glitch until 10 pm.

Early estimates suggested Prime Day would bring in $3.4 billion in revenue, up 40 percent from last year, but critics believe the site outages might affect the company’s overall sales.

Amazon is also yet to confirm whether any steps will be taken to placate brands whose limited-time deals expired during the outage.

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Heather Bone