Prime Day was Amazon’s ‘biggest shopping event’ ever as sales spike 60% from last year

(Photo by GeekWire/Kevin Lisota)

Surprise, surprise: Amazon sold a lot of stuff on Tuesday.

The Seattle-based online retailer broke all kinds of records during its third annual shopping bonanza known as Prime Day.

This year’s event, which lasted 30 hours, saw sales grow by more than 60 percent from 2016 — that’s the same growth Amazon reported from the inaugural Prime Day to last year’s Prime Day, too.

Amazon called Prime Day 2017 the “biggest global shopping event” in its history. At one point, U.S.-based customers were ordering more than 6,000 Prime Day deals every minute.

This year’s Prime Day was extended by six hours from 2016 and was available in three additional countries (13 total).

Amazon’s Alexa-powered Echo and Echo Dot speakers. (Amazon Photo)

The most popular item was Amazon’s Echo Dot device, which was the best-selling product from any manufacturer across Amazon’s website. Amazon slashed the price of its flagship Echo speaker in half to $89.99 and discounted the Echo Dot by $15 to $34.99.

Amazon also set records for sales of its Echo, Fire tablets, and Kindle devices. Echo device sales were up 7X from last year’s Prime Day. Selling more Echo devices is key for Amazon as it looks to maintain its lead in the smart speaker market. Amazon also this year offered special voice-activated Prime Day deals.

Prime Day was also a boon for Prime membership signups, as more Prime members joined the $99/year or $10.99/month program than on any day in Amazon’s history. Prime Day deals were exclusive to Prime members. A recent study estimated that there are 85 million Prime members in the U.S. and noted that Prime members spend $1,300 per year on average with the site, compared to $700 for non-members.

“To those customers who tried Prime for the first time and our long time members, thank you for a great Prime Day,” Amazon Prime VP Greg Greeley said in a statement. “Our teams around the world will keep working to add more and more to your membership, so Prime continues to make your life better every day. We are already looking forward to our Prime Day celebration next year.”

Small businesses also saw a huge sales spike on Prime Day. Victor Chang, CEO of Bellevue, Wash.-based Furbo Dog Camera, said daily sales increased by more than 500X on Prime Day.

Amazon started Prime Day in 2015 to offer Prime members discounted items. It’s similar to another major shopping holiday in China, Alibaba’s Singles Day.

Here were the best-selling items on Prime Day 2017, grouped by country:

  • U.S.: Instant Pot DUO80 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker; 23andMe DNA Tests for Health + Ancestry
  • U.K.: TP-Link Wi-Fi Smart Plug, works with Alexa; Sony Playstation 4
  • Spain: SanDisk Ultra Fit 64GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive; Moto G Plus (5th Generation) Smartphone; Lenovo Ideapad 310 Laptop
  • Mexico: AmazonBasics Apple Certified Lightning to USB Cable; Nintendo Switch
  • Japan: SAVAS Whey Protein; Happy Belly pure bottled water
  • Italy: Finish All in One Max tablets; Caffe Vergnano 1882 Espresso machine
  • India: OnePlus 5 phone; Seagate Expansion 1.5TB Portable External Drive
  • Germany and Austria: PlayStation Plus Membership; Soda Stream
  • France and Belgium: PlayStation Plus Membership; Game of Thrones – The Complete Season 1 to 6 Blu-Ray
  • China: Fisher Price Soothe and Glow Seahorse; A brief history of humankind+ A brief history of tomorrow set
  • Canada: Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, 8 Qt; AmazonBasics AA Rechargeable Batteries (8-Pack)