Amazon pulls off record Prime Day despite site glitches

Amazon said Prime Day 2018 has beat out all the other made-up deal days that came before it.
Written by Natalie Gagliordi, Contributor

Video: Amazon's Prime Day puts voice everywhere

Amazon's hyped up Prime Day shopping extravaganza started out with a whimper. Right out of the gate the site was glitchy and slow, trapping shoppers in an endless loop of links on the home page.

Nonetheless, the 36-hour bargain spree has been crowned the biggest global shopping event in Amazon's history, beating out all the other made-up deal days that came before it. The e-commerce giant said it sold more than 100 million products worldwide, with Amazon-branded devices -- the most heavily discounted products by far -- selling at record clips.

The company didn't disclose a monetary value for the sales event this year, so it's hard to say just how big a sales haul it actually had. In 2017, Amazon said Prime Day grew by more than 60 percent compared to the same 30 hours in 2016, which was itself another record-breaking sales day for the company.

Read also: Amazon Prime Day 2018: The best deals still available

However, the company touted yesterday that small businesses accounted for more than $1 billion in sales about mid-way through Prime Day.

Whatever the sales tally may be, to Amazon, sales are only a secondary goal during that one-day event. Prime Day is a benefit exclusive to Prime members, which means non-Prime customers had to subscribe to the service -- albeit with an optional 30-day free trial -- to access the deals.

Amazon said it signed up more new Prime members on July 16 than on any previous day in the company's history.

Read also: Amazon Prime Day 2018: The best deals still available - CNET

But Amazon wasn't the only retailer bringing in a record sales haul yesterday. Target said July 17 was the highest single day of traffic and sales of 2018. The cheap-chic retailer promoted its own alt-Prime Day in the days leading up to Amazon's event, telling shoppers it "Offers Deals for All; No Membership Fee Required."

The snark apparently worked. What's more, Target said nearly 90 percent of yesterday's Target.com orders are being fulfilled by Target stores, which "reflects the retailer's investment to use stores to get online orders to guests with greater efficiency," according to a company press release.

Read also: Amazon Prime Day: Top 10 deals for business travelers - TechRepublic

Amazon's foe Walmart also slashed prices and launched sale promotions to coincide with Prime Day, but it's unlikely we'll see a press release bragging about its results. Instead, Walmart used Prime Day to tout a strategic partnership with Amazon's cloud rival Microsoft. Retail pettiness at its finest.

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