In the angry aftermath of Amazon’s big Prime Day sales event, the internet’s support of the ecommerce giant turned from #PrimeDay to #PrimeDayFail.

Consumers felt disappointed as Amazon’s big ticket electronics sold out quickly and late-to-the-table shoppers were offered garage sale leftovers such as discounted Pop Tarts, an assortment of granny panties, and sliced ham.

Amazon’s intentions were good and they sold a lot of hot merchandise early in the day, such as big screen TVs.

So why did the internet attack this otherwise beloved company with lofty plans to drone new products to our eager doorsteps?

Why did the internet attack the company who’s innovative leader Jeff Bezos was named 'Best Performing CEO in the World' by the Harvard Business Review?

Why did the internet attack the company that has made our lives so much easier in so many innovative ways?

Because it's fun.

At some point in the last 24 hours, Amazon gave control of its marketing message to the internet – or perhaps the internet took control - and it didn’t disappoint.

When it’s all over, we’ll still love Amazon and may have some regrets when those Pop Tarts are no longer on sale. However, there is a lot for the digital media world to ponder in the aftermath of this enormous sale. 

Consider this...

Amazon lost control of its marketing messaging to the internet (largely via Twitter). Clearly, social media is a double-edged sword as things got ugly real quick.

Amazon battled back with corporate remarks and shared sales data that painted a rosy picture, but some felt the remarks were defensive and lacking in detail.

The digital media and advertising behind this event included display ads and email blasts to Amazon’s Prime members, all with carefully crafted and controlled messaging.

In their defence, Amazon didn’t cherry-pick the products it put on sale, there are way too many items to do that. Instead, it likely used a very broad algorithm that included the items we love, and many that we don’t.

Perhaps they should have been more selective and controlled the hype with digital advertising to set better expectations.

Additionally, beyond selling products, one of Amazon’s goals was to grow and call recognition to its Prime members program. According to Amazon, this appeared to be a huge success.

The future

For consumers, will Black Friday continue to feel special if the internet’s biggest annual sale becomes simply known as 'Wednesday' and these prices become the new normal?

For manufacturers, can they sustain the new normal in low prices or is 'Made in China' the only winner here? Amazon may become the Wal-Mart of the web by forcing manufacturers to meet unrealistic low prices, forcing more off-shore manufacturing, jobs, and a loss in quality.

If Taylor Swift taught us anything about the internet, it’s that Amazon will eventually shake it off and the internet will have to consider how the contagious nature of these hyped sales events will forever change the landscape of business on the Web.

Lori Goldberg

Published 17 July, 2015 by Lori Goldberg

Lori Goldberg is CEO at Silverlight Digital and a contributor to Econsultancy. 

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Comments (2)

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Dave Harris, Job Title at SMD

It seems like the "deals" were driven by algorithms rather than properly vetted by real people. 55 gallon barrel of lube anyone? No real person would've let this "deal" through.

about 3 years ago

Morgan Jones

Morgan Jones, Digital Manager at Freestone Creative

I see you managed to getup at 5am, otherwise how else would you have managed to 'shoehorn' a taylor swift reference into this article :)

about 3 years ago

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