Amazon is certainly not the first company to invent a holiday to drum up sales--not that anyone is complaining about National Donut Day.
But the hype created for Prime Day by the online retail giant may have backfired in a major way. Amazon ran major promotions offering "more deals than Black Friday" and publicly bashed Walmart when VP Greg Greely said in a statement, "The idea of charging your in-store customers more than your online customers doesn’t add up for us, but it's a good reminder that you're usually better off shopping online." Amazon Prime customers thought they were in for some huge savings.
Prime members, who pay $99 a year for free two-day shipping and unlimited access to music, movies and the Kindle library, happily anticipated the sale.
Cart is filled, now to wait 2 hours until #PrimeDay to see if I get any major discounts!— Aureylian (@aureylian) July 15, 2015
But when deals went live at midnight and customers saw the available array of Tupperware and outdated electronics, they were confused.
And they didn't hesitate to let the Twittersphere know how disappointed they were.
Here's the #PrimeDay spoiler: the good stuff will be gone before you get it; the rest will be multivitamins and compression shorts— Chris Davies (@c_davies) July 15, 2015
These loyal customers spend a lot of time on Amazon and are used to personalized music, book, and product suggestions. But after seeing the Prime Day offerings, they felt like Amazon didn't know them at all.
Which, after all the money they've spent on the site, felt like a betrayal.
Still, plenty of people filled up on wet wipes and desk fans. Amazon reports Prime Day as a categorical success. Peak order rates have already surpassed Black Friday 2014, a spokesperson told Inc.com. A Kate Spade purse sold in less than a minute, for instance. And those Rubbermaid sets everyone complained about? Amazon says it already sold 28,000.