By Chris Morris
July 18, 2018

Amazon Prime Day 2018 set a new sales record for the company.

That’s probably not really surprising, given the event’s extended hours, the fact it was offered in four additional markets, and traffic that was so heavy it overwhelmed the company’s servers at times—but it underscores how influential Amazon is on shopper’s buying habits. And the event has even started to have a spillover effect for competitors.

Amazon says this year’s Prime Day was the ” biggest global shopping event in Amazon history,” with consumers purchasing more than 100 million products. Sales, even when adjusted for the 36-hour period, surpassed Cyber Monday, Black Friday and 2017’s Prime Day (which, itself, improved upon the 2016 event by 60%).

Despite a rocky start that saw customers getting error pages, analysts say the impact of that hiccup was likely minimal.

“Amazon’s Prime Day ‘early jitters’ with website glitches had minimal impact on the sales success of the annual event, with our view that given Amazon’s prodigious spending, it is safe to say that any day compared to the prior year should be much better from a sales perspective, with the continuing challenge for the company driving margin and profitability in its retail business,” said Moody’s Lead Retail Analyst Charlie O’Shea.

The Echo Dot and Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote were the two best selling items, according to Amazon. Perhaps more importantly, though, was the surge in Prime membership. The company says it gathered more members for the subscription service on July 16 than it has on any previous day in its history. The company now has over 100 million paid Prime members, nearly double the number from 2016 and 20 million more than the 2017 estimates.

Among the day’s other highlights…

  • Customers purchased more than 5 million toys—a 1.5 million increase from 2017.
  • Prime members in 17 countries took part in the bargain hunting.
  • Members bought more than 300,000 Instant Pots, the top selling non-Amazon device in the U.S.

Outside of Amazon’s own products, the best-selling items on Prime Day in other countries varied. The U.K. preferred a Bosch Cordless Drill and the Philips Hue Personal Wireless Lighting Light strip, while Japan bought lots of Whey Protein and “Super Nanox Liquid Laundry Detergent”.

Amazon’s not the only company touting Tuesday’s sales numbers, either. Target, earlier on Wednesday, said Tuesday was “the highest single day of traffic and sales of 2018” on its website. The retailer, however, declined to offer any hard numbers or discuss how the sales compared to Black Friday or other retail holidays.

 

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