Amazon Prime Day beats Black Friday record but customer complaints soar

Amazon said its Prime Day promotion, a day of discounts open only to members of its Prime subscription scheme, beat Black Friday 2014 – which until now has been its biggest-ever selling day. Customers seemed less happy, with complaints about the service soaring over the day.

Worldwide order numbers were 266 per cent ahead of the same day, July 15, last year, and 18 per cent up on Black Friday 2014. The company said response beat its expectations – and that the event will certainly be repeated in future.

“The response to Prime Day has surpassed all of our expectations,” commented Christopher North, Managing Director at Amazon UK. “Prime Day was our biggest day of deals ever – we sold even more deals than on Black Friday. We can’t wait to do it again next year.”

Large numbers of Prime members complained however, with Twitter awash with complaints about difficulty accessing deals and lack of exciting discount opportunities with lighning deals offering things from ham, soap and brass knuckles.

Given that many members join Prime reportedly for access to next day free shipping, easy purchase and programming, it remains to be seen whether Prime Day will grow to be seen a special bonus for members, or a further shift to discounts in the Amazon model.

What will prove most interesting is the numbers of new subscribers and the spending habits of the new members. Were they sucked in by the one-off deal promise, or will they stay and buy regularly?

What is for sure is that it’ll be a while before we know the true success of Prime Day. In 2008 China’s Singles Day was a relatively small promotion and today it sees billions in transactions.