The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Prime Day

Despite downsides, more new members joined than ever

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Amazon sold 150,000 Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips Kits during Prime Day. Crest
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An EU antitrust investigation and U.S. lawmakers calling on the Department of Labor to look into workplace safety are probably not the headlines Amazon was hoping for the morning after its longest-ever Prime Day.

Nevertheless, the ecommerce platform was at the ready with a statement lauding the 48-hour sale as “the largest shopping event in Amazon history,” with more than 1 million deals and 175 million items purchased.

As usual, the platform shared little outside of cherrypicked stats, like how Prime members worldwide saved more than $1 billion throughout Prime Day, but it also said the two-day sale “surpassed the previous Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.” And, of course, it sold a lot of Amazon devices, along with other smart home devices.

Prime members also bought more than 100,000 lunchboxes, 100,000 laptops, 200,000 TVs, 300,000 headphones, 350,000 luxury beauty products, 400,000 pet products, 650,000 household cleaning supplies, more than 1 million toys, more than 200,000 LifeStraw Personal Water Filters and 150,000 Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips Kits.

Whole Foods’ best-selling Prime Day deals included organic strawberries, cherries and blueberries.

Top-selling deals around the world are a smorgasbord of consumer electronics and consumer packaged goods, including Sony PlayStation Classic Console (U.K.); Al Ain Bottled Water (United Arab Emirates); yobola Wireless Bluetooth Headphones (Spain); Meiji Fresh Milk (Singapore); Mama Bear Diapers (Netherlands); Nintendo Switch (Mexico); JBL Charge 3 Stealth Edition Bluetooth Portable Boombox (Luxembourg); Happy Belly Water (Japan); Nescafe Dolce Gusto Barista Caffè Espresso (Italy); Syska 9-Watt Smart LED Bulb Compatible with Amazon Alexa (India); JBL Bluetooth Speaker (Germany and Austria); iRobot Roomba 671 (France); Dove Exfoliating Scrub (China); PlayStation 4 Slim with Spiderman and Horizon Zero Dawn (Canada); OSRAM Smart+ Plug Zigbee Switchable Light Socket (Belgium); and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Australia).

And, perhaps most importantly, Amazon added more new Prime members on July 15 than any previous day and almost as many on July 16.

Without regulatory clouds hanging overhead, data from Adobe Analytics shows other retailers perhaps had even better Prime Days.

In the U.S., large retailers, or those with more than $1 billion in annual revenue, saw online sales on their own platforms increase 72% compared to a typical Tuesday. Smaller retailers, or those with less than $5 million in annual revenue, saw ecommerce sales up 25%.

And Tuesday, like Monday, also surpassed $2 billion in online sales, making it the fourth day outside the holiday season to do so—the other three being Labor Day 2018, Memorial Day 2019 and the first day of Prime Day 2019.

Overall, Adobe said large retailers were the clear winners with an average revenue lift of 68%.

“[Smaller] retailers also saw a significant increase in online sales at 28%,” said Jason Woosley, vice president, commerce product and platform at Adobe, in a statement. “This suggests that people are comparison shopping more than ever and will open their wallets to those who offer the best deals, regardless of the size of the retailer.”

@lisalacy Lisa Lacy is a senior writer at Adweek, where she focuses on retail and the growing reach of Amazon.