Prime Day, 2019, kicked off on Monday, July 15th, and is already expected to be the biggest shopping event in Amazon’s history. Doug Anmuth, an analyst at J.P. Morgan, predicts that Amazon’s 2019 Prime Day sales could generate $5 billion in sales for the company, a major increase from 2018’s already ridiculous $4.2 billion in sales. But how did one of the largest shopping holidays ever originate?
History of Amazon
Amazon was created by Jeff Bezos in 1995 as an online retailer of books. After some early success, it went public in 1997 for $1.96 per share. Amazon slowly began to expand into other markets, initially only selling music and clothing.
Years later, after acquisitions of shoe companies (Zappos), audiobook companies (Audible), robotics companies (Kiva Systems), and the launch of their own flagship products (Kindle, Amazon Echo), Amazon now had a hold on nearly every corner of the eCommerce market.
The First Prime Day
Then, on the eve of Amazon’s 20th birthday, the very first Prime Day was announced. A press release at 1 AM declared that Prime Day was “a global shopping event, with more deals than Black Friday”. The catch was, these deals were only available to Amazon Prime members, a premium subscription that gave special benefits, like 2-day shipping, to paying members.
After the very first prime day, Amazon announced that it had broken all Black Friday records- selling 398 items per second. Then came the second and third “Day’s” in 2016 and 2017, each a slightly greater success than the year before. Notably, one of the most popular Prime Day products was Amazon’s own Echo Dot. Each prime day thereafter, Amazon would gain a larger percentage of Prime subscribers. By 2018, nearly 48% of U.S. consumers had an Amazon Prime account during Prime Day.
In 2018, many Amazon customers experienced 404 error pages on Prime Day, most likely due to the overwhelming traffic the site was receiving. Despite such problems, Amazon still had it’s most successful year yet.
Prime Day 2019 has not come without its potential for minor disaster either, however, due in part to a major work stoppage. Amazon warehouse works at the fulfillment center in Shakopee, Minnesota, have already announced plans to strike for six hours. The workers are protesting Amazon’s decision to offer one-day shipping to certain members, which the workers say puts unreasonable amounts of stress on an already overstressed workforce.
Despite such setbacks, it doesn’t like Amazon will show any signs of slowing down. Remember Amazon’s initial share price of $1.96? Today, a single share of Amazon stock is worth $2,017.50. If this year’s Prime Day follows the same growth track of previous years, then it can only be expected for the growth of Amazon to continue. To learn even more about the history of Prime Day, the most popular Prime Day products, and Prime Day estimated sales numbers, check out the infographic below by the BEST ofs!
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Last Updated on February 3, 2021.