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Amazon Prevails on Prime Day, Unscathed by Technical Difficulties and Fierce Competition

27 Aug 2018 Marlea Clark

in Digital, Amazon, Retail

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Amazon Prime Day is a day of shopping delights for consumers, and significant competition for retailers. But just as the day kicked off, Amazon’s site and app crashed nearly immediately, serving up pages of cute dogs to confused customers who anxiously awaited one of the biggest days of the year.

For marketers at competing retailers who had spent time over the past 12 months drafting aggressive promotions that would drive traffic away from Amazon on that very day, the glitch was a dream. The hiccup did drive shoppers to browse other retailers—but turned out to be a minor event for Amazon.

About that dog in the room...
More than half of Amazon Prime Day shoppers experienced technical difficulties and were redirected to the now-infamous error page displaying a cute puppy instead of anticipated deals. But, only 15% gave up on Prime day entirely without making a purchase.
The gloves came off, promotions turned up
Technical difficulties or not, sitting out on Prime Day means losing—not only to Amazon, but to every other retailer trying to rack up sales from users comparing prices. While ramping up promotions around Prime Day is smart and necessary, a few retailers implemented more aggressive marketing strategies that took direct aim at Amazon.

eBay threw major shade at Amazon Prime’s membership fee increase ($99 to $119), taking $25 off orders purchased with the promo code PRIMO119.

Alexa, watch your back...

Alexa got some competition at Walmart and Target, as Walmart heavily promoted Google Home products during their Ultimate Summer Special and Target did the same with their “One-Day Sale.”
How many customers actually took advantage of competitor sales?When it came time to compare prices, nearly half (46%) of Amazon Prime shoppers didn’t actually bother to do it. However, 24% compared prices at Walmart, 14% at Target and 9% at Best Buy. 6% compared prices at department stores and other shopping outlets, respectively. 

In terms of sales, Amazon led the way in visitor-to-customer conversion rates compared to an average Tuesday, but they weren’t the only ones. Competing retailers saw gains there as well. Best Buy slid into second place with a 1.6% increase in conversion to customers, followed by Kohl’s (1.5%), Gap (1.4%), and Target 1.4%

Hey Mom, we really made it!
Overall, Amazon has reason to declare success. Prime Day is now recognized as a special shopping holiday by over half of the Internet users in the country, with 60% awareness, just below Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Alibaba trails far behind in the U.S., with only 7% recognition for their Single’s Day shopping holiday.
What were Amazon's public thoughts on Prime Day 2018?
• "The biggest shopping event in Amazon history"
• "More new Prime members on July 16 than any other day in Amazon history"
• "More than 100 million products sold"
• "The Amazon Cloud Cam was the best-selling security camera deal in Amazon history"
• "Small and medium businesses selling on Amazon far exceeded $1 billion in sales" 

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Source: eMarketer Amazon Prime Day 2018 Unboxed; Alix Partners Amazon Prime Day Consumer Survey; InfoScout Amazon Prime Day: 2018 Recap; Jumpshot 2018

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