Amazon.com has said its Prime Day orders had surpassed those of Black Friday yesterday (16th July), but many customers took to social media to criticize the quality of deals available.
The retailer held its first ever “Prime Day” yesterday, offering Black Friday-esque “lightning deals” and heavy discounts on products across its stores, in a bid to recruit more people to sign up to Amazon Prime membership, which costs £79 a year in the UK.
However, many customers expressed disappointment on social media about the quality of the deals on offer using the Twitter hashtag #PrimeDayFail . They also complained many items sold out quickly.
One customer, Dana Weiss, tweeted: “Thanks @amazon for reminding us that there is a day more disappointing than Monday. #PrimeDay." While another, Justin Seeley, said: “I think @amazon should have named this ‘useless crap we can’t get rid of sale’.” Josh Jordan, on the other hand, noted the deals were still popular. He tweeted: “As bad as the Lightening Deals are, there’s still a waitlist to save 36% on a 16 bar pack of soap!”
Despite the negative reaction on social media, Amazon’s vice president of Amazon Prime Greg Greeley announced mid way through the sales bonanza yesterday that the promotion was proving successful for the retailer.
“Prime Day peak order rates have already surpassed 2014 Black Friday," he said. "Prime members have already bought tens of thousands of Fire TV Sticks, 35,000 Lord of the Rings Blu-Ray sets, 28,000 Rubbermaid sets, and 4,000 Echo devices in 15 minutes.”
He added that the company’s US website sold 1,200 TVs costing $999 “in less than 10 minutes.”
Yesterday, analysts told The Bookseller that Prime Day was designed to encourage more people to sign up to the annual membership and also for Amazon to secure more market share.
Retail analyst Nick Bubb said Prime Day was “clearly a customer acquisition tool ahead of Black Friday.”
While Douglas McCabe, analyst with Enders, said: “Amazon's model privileges market share and so it is always deploying marketing techniques designed to grow its share of the total retail marketplace as profitably as possible.”