Amazon's Prime Day evolves from rummage sale to must-shop event

Amazon.com ’s fourth annual Prime Day event lured shoppers from around the world, highlighting the promotion’s evolution from a rummage sale of obscure products to 36 hours of discounts on major brands such as Samsonite luggage, Callaway golf clubs and General Mills cereals.

It’s a sharp contrast from the first Prime Day in 2015, when customers kvetched on social media about underwhelming offerings that resembled a warehouse clearance sale. This year’s product depth demonstrates the leverage the e-commerce giant has when providing access to its loyal Prime subscribers who pay fees in exchange for shipping discounts, video streaming and other benefits. Many brands decided it’s smarter to offer steep discounts and pay Amazon for advertising to win sales on the site than to sit out an event estimated to generate $3.4 billion in spending.

Procter & Gamble  offered 25 per cent off Tide laundry products. Callaway Golf Co offered as much as 50 per cent off golf clubs and accessories and Under Armour  had discounts of about 40 per cent on clothing and sneakers, according to data from Boomerang Commerce, which helps brands set prices and ad pricing on the web store.

“This symbiotic relationship between Amazon and leading brands legitimises Prime Day, as well as those brands serious about stepping up their e-commerce game,” said Guru Hariharan, chief executive officer of Boomerang.

Amazon doesn’t release Prime Day sales figures. Spending increased 89 per cent from a year earlier during the first 12 hours of the event, according to estimates from Feedvisor, which sells pricing software used by Amazon merchants.



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