Published on: July 20, 2016by Kate McMahon
The unparalleled power of the Amazon ecosystem is enough to give the similarly named massive rainforest in Brazil an inferiority complex.
As reported here on MNB, Amazon said its second annual Prime Day on July 12 was its biggest sales day ever, with customer orders up 50% in the US and 60% globally. That a totally manufactured mid-summer shopping day can make Black Friday sales pale by comparison proves that the Amazon e-commerce ecosystem is indeed a force of nature.
Prime Day also prompted Amazon’s competitors to up their game. Walmart offered free shipping during the week starting July 11th, and updated its prices hourly on Prime Day to compare with Amazon. It also offered a free 30-day trial for ShippingPass, its $49 a year competitor to Amazon Prime.
Macy’s did its part by introducing a “Black Friday in July” sales event, and eBay and Best Buy touted deals and free shipping with “no membership required.”
Amazon debuted Prime Day last year to encourage consumers to sign up for its $99-a-year Prime membership, which offers "free" two-day shipping as well as "free" video and music streaming. (They're not actually free, of course, because they cost $99 a year, but the program is structured to encourage and reward frequent shopping.) Prime, in addition to ecosystem features such as Subscribe and Save, have contributed much to Amazon's growth ... though, to be fair, there are naysayers who question whether the model is sustainable.
The evidence would suggest that Amazon has identified yet another way to generate growth and expand its ecosystem.
Prime Day also set records for Amazon in terms of the sale of its devices, including Fire TV, Fire tablets, Kindle e-readers and Alexa-enabled devices across the world. It also saw Amazon's mobile app usage jump from 8 million average daily users to 12 million on Prime Day. And, in more good news for Amazon, various analyses suggest that while the promotion had its share of glitches, there were fewer than a year ago, with higher levels of customer satisfaction.
There also was a fascinating list of "most popular purchases" from different countries, which illustrates the breadth and depth of Amazon's appeal - cereal in Japan, a frying pan in Germany and Austria, an electric toothbrush with Bluetooth connectivity in the UK, and the "Game of Thrones" DVD set in France and Belgium.
This is all called going in the right direction - higher sales, and greater customer satisfaction, all leading to an expanding ecosystem designed to make Amazon - as we often point out here on MNB - the first, best choice for shoppers.
Small wonder there's a smile on the Amazon box.
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- KC's View: