retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal this weekend wrote that Amazon's annual Prime Day promotion "appears to be losing some of its momentum" - "Amazon’s sales are projected to reach roughly $7.76 billion in the U.S. from Prime Day."

That's only 17 percent more than last year's Prime Day event, far lower than the 65 percent growth that earlier Prime Days typically generated.

The Journal goes on:

"Sales growth for the online shopping extravaganza has slowed and consumers aren’t purchasing orders as large as they once did, data show. Amazon doesn’t appear to be investing in the event as it has in the past, and many of the deals have been focused on the company’s own products. Excluding electronics, the discounts on many items don’t surpass those on other days at Amazon, data show.

"The online commerce giant plans to hold Prime Day this year on July 12 and 13, continuing a recent trend of holding the event longer than a day to maximize its revenue."

KC's View:

Most companies would be thrilled with a 17 percent increase year over year, but Amazon has set expectations high over the years, and so now it has to live with people being disappointed when it doesn't hit previous heights.

The thing is, Amazon may have looked at the numbers, put them into the context of how the pandemic has changed the business, not to mention how it is facing stresses on various levels, and decided to back off and invest in something more innovative and unique.

Let's not forget that a lot of businesses are using Prime Day as a signifier for their own promotions and sales, and so Amazon may just be thinking that it is time to try something else, something new.

This can be cast in a negative light, but I'm not sure that this is fair.  Part of being innovative is constantly embracing change, not doing the same thing over and over.