Amazon sold more than 175 million products during its global Prime Day sales this year, eclipsing any of its previous sales events. But US customers are reporting the ecommerce giant hasn’t been able to keep up with demand, failing to deliver items within its advertised delivery periods.
In Australia, sales during Prime Day surpassed all previous Amazon Australia shopping events, when comparing two-day periods, marking the largest shopping event in Amazon’s Australian history.
Update: Which-50 understands the volume of sales from Amazon Australia’s Prime event pushed some delivery times out one to two days longer than usual.
Looking at US figures, analysis by Adobe Digital Insights also revealed other large retailers received a Prime Day bump, with revenue up 68 per cent on average across the sales period.
The Bezos juggernaut now runs its Prime Day promotion across two days in 18 countries, discounting thousands of products on the platform, with special deals for Prime members who pay an annual subscription fee for free “two day shipping” on many products, among other benefits. Globally more than 100 million people have signed up for Prime and the annual sale accounts for 1.4 per cent of annual sales, according to analysts.
Amazon prides itself on its standard two day shipping for Prime members, and is spending US$800 million to bring it down to a single day in the US However, the two day deal is actually refers to transit time, once an order has shipped. This means hold ups on Amazon’s fulfilment end could blow delivery times out by several days.
On the ecommerce giant’s biggest sales days of the year it often struggles to meet the fast shipping claims, not helped by a horde of new signups on the days of the sale and some Amazon workers striking for more humane working conditions and job security.
This year the Prime sale attracted more new members than ever over a two day period and members collectively “saved” over one billion dollars, according to Amazon. However many customers were greeted with longer than expected delivery times, according to reports in the Wall Street Journal, with actual delivery dates well exceeding Amazon’s advertised claims of one or two day shipping.
An Amazon spokeswomen, Julie Law, said in an interview the volume of sales in 2019 had impacted one and two day shipping during the sale, with capacity filled early on in the two day event.
“People are not focused on speed, they are focused on deals,” Law said. “We don’t want to disappoint customers ever, but our capacity for shipping has limits.”
Prime Day’s ‘halo effect’ on large retailers
Large US retailers received a boost from Prime Day, benefiting from more shoppers being online, according to data from Adobe Digital Insights.
Adobe uses data from its Experience Cloud, Analytics Cloud, Commerce Cloud, and Advertising Cloud products to track online trends. This year revealed a 68 per cent lift in revenue for large retailers (those with over $1 billion in revenue). Most of the revenue increase came on the second day of the Amazon Prime sale, helping record the fourth day ever outside of the holiday season to surpass $2 billion in online sales.
“Due to Prime Day’s ‘halo effect,’ large retailers with major discounts online reaped the benefits, seeing significant lift in revenue across the two sale days,” said Jason Woosley, vice president, commerce product and platform at Adobe.
Smaller retailers also benefited but not as much. SMEs recorded a 28 per cent increase in online sales, according to Adobe data.