If Amazon had a playlist of greatest sales hits, Amazon Prime Day 2016 most definitely would be on it. The world's largest online retailer enjoyed its biggest sales day ever on Tuesday, July 12, easily vaulting over records set during  Prime Day 2015. Some of the biggest Prime Day highlights include:

  • A 60% increase in worldwide orders compared to Prime Day 2015. The 2015 sale saw 398 sales per second around the globe, so the increase translates to an estimated 636 items per second for the 2016 event.
  • The sale of 90,000 TVs and 2 million toys.
  • The rise of the Amazon Fire TV Stick as the best-selling Amazon device.
  • A twofold increase in ordering via Amazon's mobile app.

Competitors Be Like, "Uh..."

Competitors did their best to offer their own deals as an alternative, but even major retailers couldn't hold a candle to Amazon's sale. The message from the event is clear: It's not enough just to give customers good shipping deals (Walmart, we're looking at you). You have to give customers way more in terms of product availability. Millennials, whose spending power is maturing, and who represent the largest generation of consumers ever, generally compare products well and demand a full range of product choices.

Amazon Can Learn, Too

All purchases have motivators. Amazon might be able to plan for next year by considering possible reasons why certain items sold so well.

  • As more Americans' wallets say "ouch", people are living frugally. For instance, they watch TV at home (90,000 units sold) instead of going to a movie, and they're cooking their own meals more (215,000  Instant Pot 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cookers sold in the U.S. alone). Providing even more items that give customers a DIY approach to living thus might draw in more buyers.
  • Americans are some of the most overworked people in the world. Customers might hone in on relaxation items such as Vivere's double hammock (24,000 sold) not only because those products appeal to the concept of work-life balance, but also because millennials generally stress health.
  • People have less time and more demands than ever. They could be turning to technology as a way to streamline and cope (TVs, Amazon devices and laptops all major Prime Day hits).

Delivering Something for All

Amazon Prime Day gives customers variety, encourages competitors to step up their game and points Amazon toward deeper market drivers. It arguably has a strengthening effect on the economy, too, getting people buying even when disposable income isn't as high as it used to be. The biggest benefit, though, might be cementing an old entrepreneurial idea: Nobody gets anywhere by refusing to do something different.