Monday, July 20, 2015

Amazon Prime Week Blunder - Or is it?

 Amazon Prime Week - Jonah Engler 

 Amazon Prime Day was promoted as a chance for members to score major deals. It turned out to be a source for widespread public frustration that had customers across the globe lampooning the company … but did Amazon get the last laugh?

If you are an Amazon Prime member, you pay about $100 a year and get free shipping on items sold or sponsored by Amazon and access to streaming video selections via the Prime app. What Amazon has is a bunch of warehouses full of random stuff you need to get rid of. It was this, and not the offers that became the prevailing commentary on Prime Day.

Prime Day advertised “more sales than Black Friday”. And there were. If however, you thought that meant there would be better items on sale than on Black Friday, that’s a different matter entirely, and you were probably sadly disappointed. There were great prices on sale items, but the sale items often ranged from unusual to downright ridiculous.

You could score big time on a family pack of (5) brass knuckles. Which, of course, had everyone wondering if “family” meant “Corleone Family”. If you wanted a 16-pack of bars of soap – well you had to be fast on the draw to get that one.

Twitter ended up being all aflutter with tweets from disgruntled shoppers using #PrimeDayFail to echo their disappointment. And guess what, Amazon loved it all. hey cleared out a lot of the stuff cluttering up those warehouses. And the items they sold that were a big hit with buyers were really BIG hits.

As an example, they sold 14,000 iRoomba Pet Cleaning Vacuums – but last Wednesday they sold only 1. They also sold 47,000 televisions – a 1300% increase from what they sold on Amazon Prime Day last year.

So in one day, they got massive amounts of free publicity cementing Amazon as the place to buy literally anything. They cleared out several tons of excess products that had been cluttering up their storage space. And they gave a lot of people an opportunity to laugh themselves silly at the deals on offer. And, best of all, they picked up an untold number of new Prime members … which may have been the point all along... Did they get laughed at? Maybe … but, when you think about it, Amazon was laughing with us.

Jonah Engler is a financial expert from NYC.

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