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Amazon said yesterday that this week’s Prime Day promotion set new sales records for the company, becoming the “biggest global shopping event in Amazon history,” though, as Fortune notes, “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.”

Fortune writes that “the Echo Dot and Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote were the two best selling items, according to Amazon … Customers purchased more than 5 million toys—a 1.5 million increase from 2017 … Members bought more than 300,000 Instant Pots, the top selling non-Amazon device in the U.S.”

Perhaps more significantly, the story says, new Prime memberships surged: “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.”

TechCrunch writes that “while Amazon doesn’t tend to reveal hard numbers, a third-party report from Feedvisor backs up Amazon’s statement to some extent, saying that online shoppers spent 54 percent more in the first three hours of Prime Day this year, than the first three hours last year.”

The story goes on to note that “Prime Day was estimated to bring in $3.4 billion in sales, up over 40 percent from last year … It’s also delivering a record number of voice-based sales, according to a report from Brian Roemmele, who cites data from sources inside Amazon.”
KC's View:
There was plenty of evidence this week that Amazon is both extraordinarily powerful and, go figure, fallible.

We all knew the first. Some have been surprised by the second.

Like Kate McMahon, who wrote about this yesterday, I think I may be more surprised by how Amazon dealt with the glitches that its customers experienced than the fact that the glitches occurred. Sure, they were annoying, but they also were evidence of popularity … sort of like a crowded restaurant makes you want to eat there.

Not only should Amazon apologize with a little more humility, but maybe they could have a quick Flash Prime event next week … have a surprise 12 hour sequel event that serves to help give customers a little more access to great deals. Not only would it get a ton of press, I’d betcha it also would generate a ton of sales.

Just a thought.