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Prime Day Was Huge For Amazon ... and Target

Prime Day 2018 saw over 100 million products sold.

Mark Makela/Getty Images

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After wrapping up its signature annual shopping event, Amazon validated predictions that Prime Day 2018 would be the biggest sales event in its history.

Despite boycotts meant to highlight reportedly poor working conditions of Amazon workers, the company said in a statement that sales from this year’s 36-hour Prime Day event exceeded those from Cyber Monday and Black Friday, as well as last year’s Prime Day. Over 100 million products were purchased worldwide, and more shoppers signed up for Prime, the secret weapon that turns shoppers into Amazon addicts, on July 16 than on any other day in the company’s history.

In a statement about Prime Day’s unprecedented sales, Amazon executive Jeff Wilke attributed the success to the event’s extended length, and to the hard work of Amazon employees.

“Extending Prime Day to a day and a half this year allowed us to further reward members with unbeatable deals, access to exclusive new products and unforgettable experiences that highlight the many benefits of a Prime membership,” he said. “All of this was made possible because of our many valued associates — the global team that continues to make Prime Day bigger and better.”

The company didn’t share exact numbers regarding its overall sales, but did say that small and medium-sized businesses on the Amazon platform sold more than $1 billion worth of stuff. Caron Proschan, the founder and CEO of Simply Gum, for example, said in the statement that sales of her products were up 400 percent.

Amazon also said that Prime members bought 300,000 Instant Pots, one of Prime Day’s coveted deals. Customers bought 5 million toys, an increase of 3.5 million in toys purchased from last year (and a nod to the space Amazon can fill now that Toys R Us is dunzo). Some other breakouts? Shoppers in Canada bought tons of Bose QuietComfort Noise Cancelling Headphones, customers in China jumped on Paul & Joe Beaute Moisturizing Foundation, and people in Japan bought lots and lots of whey protein.

Still, it wasn’t all smooth. As Prime Day commenced, shoppers were outraged when the Amazon website crashed from the onslaught of traffic.

Analysts believe that during the time that the site was down, Amazon lost about $99 million, according to Bloomberg. But the e-commerce kingpin was quick to fix the problem, and research firm One Click Retail assesses that Amazon’s website outage probably helped the company overall, since the press tackled the story, doggie error message and all, and ultimately brought more attention to the sales event.

And Amazon wasn’t the only company that enjoyed record sales on Prime Day. What with Amazon’s considerable muscle in the shopping space, the shopping event created a halo effect, where “Black Friday in July” has become a shopping event across the internet, at sites like Target, J.Crew, Forever 21, and American Apparel, to name a few.

On Wednesday, Target said in a statement that the one-day sale it held ~coincidentally~ on Prime Day was the company’s biggest shopping day of 2018.

“Hot offers drove the highest single day of traffic and sales of 2018 on Target.com as savings kicked off early Tuesday morning, with day-long deals on a broad assortment of Target-exclusive brands and top national brands,” read the statement.

Target seemed to be pushing the message that its sale was more inclusive than Amazon’s, marketing it as a “sale for everyone” and tweeting, “The best part? No membership required!”

Target also declined to share their exact sales figures from the day, but it’s clear that the strategy of piggybacking off Amazon’s giant sales event worked.