Prime Day 2018 Recap

by Jason Iannone, Inc. (“Amazon”) held their annual Prime Day on July 16, 2018. Despite a less-than-great first impression in the form of website glitches, this year's edition proved to be the most successful one yet.

Record-Busting Sales

Amazon Prime Day lasted for 36 hours - in that time, Amazon posted record numbers. Shoppers bought over 100 million products, totaling over $4 billion in sales. Larger businesses (defined by CNBC as having over $1 billion in revenue) saw an average sales increase of 54% over last year's Prime Day.

Small and mid-sized businesses did well for themselves too, with $1.2 billion in sales within the first 24 hours alone. This is a huge improvement from last year, as evidenced by an incredible 200 percent increase in top-item sales. Depending on the business, sales rose anywhere from a small-yet-still-impressive 10 percent to a company-altering 100 percent.

Thanks to SellerApp for sharing these Prime Day statistics.

Third-Party Sellers Won The Day

It's one thing to commend Amazon for selling tons of Alexas and Echo Dots (which they did). What about the third-party sellers? Well, Prime Day was pretty amazing for them too. Within the first 12 hours of the event, third-party sales skyrocketed high enough to reach the Moon, with an incredible 89 percent increase in products sold compared to last year's Prime Day. Considering that the third-party market makes up two-thirds of Amazon's merchants, that's more than a little significant. When third-party sellers do well, all of Amazon does well.

Other Companies Profited Too

Amazon Prime Day created such a sales fervor, it only made sense for other companies to get in on the money-making fun. Target, in particular, capitalized on Prime Day in a huge way, offering up its own online sale on July 17. It wound up being the chain's highest sales day of the year, as well as their site's highest-trafficked day of the year. If what Target did isn't perfect corporate timing, I don't know what is.

Those Darn Glitches

What's perhaps most amazing about Amazon Prime Day's incredible success was how it could've turned utterly disastrous within minutes. The festivities began at 3 PM, and almost immediately the site started glitching up. This meant many would-be buyers couldn't start shopping, which is exactly what any decent store doesn't want.

Luckily, the glitches neither lingered nor spread to every user, resulting in a record-setting Prime Day. Plus, any possible bad PR that might've resulted from Amazon stumbling while getting the party started went away fast. Amazon shares dropped a percent once the glitches began, but actually rose 1.5 percent by the end of Prime Day. It's amazing how a few billion dollars in sales will impress even the most jaded of stockbrokers.

Originally published on August 10, 2018, updated July 1, 2019

This post is accurate as of the date of publication. Some features and information may have changed due to product updates or Amazon policy changes.