What Amazon Lost (and Made) On Amazon Prime Day

Amazon Prime Day is over and what a ride it was this year. Widespread technical glitches in the first hours of Amazon’s massive annual Prime Day promotion cost the e-commerce giant an estimated $1.2 million a minute, according to One Click Retail founder Spencer Millerberg.

The total loss is difficult to nail down, in part because the exact span of the outage varied. But the data analytics firm says the outage, which included a broken landing page and links that sent potential customers to an error page, appeared to be concentrated on the East and West coasts of the U.S for about 75 minutes. That puts Amazon’s loss in sales at about $90 million, an estimate One Click Retail based on 1P sales from 2017.

Another estimate from discount site Lovethesales.com put Amazon’s loss at more than $99 million, Bloomberg reported.

And yet, Amazon contends that these massive glitches didn’t dampen the day.

Amazon doesn’t disclose Prime Day sales figures. But the company issued statements Tuesday and Wednesday with glowing Prime Day sales stats. Here’s one nugget: Prime Day sales in the U.S. grew faster than last year within the first 10 hours of the annual sales promotion.

Amazon said Wednesday that sales this Prime Day surpassed Cyber Monday, Black Friday and the previous Prime Day, when comparing 36-hour periods. Prime members globally purchased more than 100 million products during this year’s Prime Day event. Small and medium-sized businesses made out as welll with sales exceeding $1 billion this Prime Day, according to Amazon.

Insights from algorithmic commerce startup Feedvisor fill in a few of the gaps. Feedvisor estimated spending skyrocketed 89 percent in the first 12 hours of the event compared with the same period last year, Bloomberg reported

There are a few explanations behind the jump in sales. The company extended Prime Day from 30 to 36 hours this year. And it added four more countries, including Australia.

But there may be other reasons for the increase in sales, including, in a weird twist, the outage itself. One Click Retail contends that the extra media coverage of outage appears to have helped Amazon.

The company also found that deal volume doubled in Italy, Japan, Mexico and Spain and that 84 percent of brands extended their discount to more than one item compared to just 67 percent last year.

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