"In the early going, you're seeing a lot of deals for Amazon-branded and Alexa-connected products, and the discounts are compelling".
Prime Day kicked off at 3 p.m. on Monday, but shoppers reported experiencing issues within a few minutes.
Just as Amazon Prime Day 2018 began, the whole thing went to the dogs. Such events are big drivers of e-commerce in India that is still largely dependent on discounts. Amazon said that the prime Day sales in the USA continue to be bigger than ever - in fact, in the first 10 hours, Prime Day grew even faster, year-over-year, than the first 10 hours last year.
"Prime Day sales in the United States so far are bigger than ever", an Amazon representative confirmed in an email, adding that customers have purchased millions of Alexa-enabled devices like the Echo Dot and others. Shoppers were anticipated to spend 40% more, up to $3.4 billion, on Amazon during the 36-hour promotion this year.
Amazon called this year's Prime Day the "biggest shopping event" in its history as shoppers bought more than 100 million products during the 36-hour sale.
Despite the bust out of the gate, the company said it sold more items in the first hour of Prime Day this year than in the first four hours of last year's event. During Prime Day Amazon offers impressive Lightning deals on its own devices like the Echo smart speaker and Kindle, as well as on thousands of best-selling TVs, laptops, cameras, and homeware products. Based on its Prime Day analytics data, retailers with more than a $1 billion in annual revenue saw a 54 percent lift in their Prime Day sales versus an average Tuesday. "All of this was made possible because of our many valued associates - the global team that continues to make Prime Day bigger and better".
Amazon didn't say how much people spent in all. And the event has even started to have a spillover effect for competitors.
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The issues weren't limited to shopping. "So it really does feel like Prime Day has grown up and has become a legitimate shopping holiday", Cooper Smith, director of Amazon IQ Research at Gartner L2, told Retail Dive in an interview.
It's a sharp contrast from the first Prime Day in 2015, when customers kvetched on social media about underwhelming offerings that resembled a warehouse clearance sale.
"Shoppers are looking for something more familiar", he added.
However, none of this got in the way of breaking sales records.
Amazon boasted that Prime Day 2018 would have more than a million deals available worldwide, which is pretty insane when you think about it.
Consumer electronics are of course a staple for Prime Day and this year was no exception.
Amazon said its sales topped those for the Prime event a year ago as well as those for Cyber Monday and Black Friday, but it gave no breakdown of the value of sales or of the scale of discounts it had applied.