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Amazon Prime Day 2016: bigger and better deals?

By Chris Elliott

Amazon Prime Day returned today – offering deals on 100,000s of products exclusively to Amazon Prime Members.

Prime Day was first launched last year on 15 July 2015 to celebrate the e-tailer’s 20th birthday. Last year, Amazon’s headline offers were its ‘Deals of the Day’ which offered significant savings on a Lenovo Notebook, Xbox One bundle and Playstation 4 bundle, as well as promoting its own range of Fire HD tablets, Kindles and Fire TV Stick.

The event was hailed a success by Christopher North, then Managing Director of Amazon UK, stating that ‘Prime Day was our biggest day of deals ever – we sold even more deals than on Black Friday.’ According to Amazon, 398 items were sold per second worldwide as total sales surpassed those of the e-tailer’s previous daily record on Black Friday 2014.

In addition to boosting sales, Prime Day also aims to increase the number of Amazon Prime members. Prime Day 2015 no doubt contributed to the 51 percent increase in worldwide paid Prime memberships reported by Amazon. Attracting new customers will not only boost sales on the day but also in the future as a report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners estimated that Amazon Prime members annually spend more than double that of non-members.

Prime Day deals on Amazon products

The e-tailer again this year offered reductions on its Fire, Fire TV and Kindle products – last year three of the seven ‘Deals of the Day’ were on Amazon products. This year Amazon elected to have an additional section below its ‘Spotlight Deals’ – replacing the ‘Deals of the Day’ – dedicated exclusively to reductions on its own products.


Amazon UK website 12 July 2016 (9:00am)

The Amazon Fire TV Stick was the most prominently promoted Amazon product last year as it was the second product in the seven ‘Deals of the Day’ behind a Lenovo Flex notebook. This year the Fire TV stick was again prominently featured in Amazon’s headline offers as it was the first product in both the ‘Spotlight Deals’ and Kindle, Fire and Fire TV selections.

Amazon sold the Fire TV Stick this year for £19.99; this is 99p more than last year when it sold it for £19.00.


Amazon UK website: 15 July 2015 and 12 July 2016

Prime Day 2016 Spotlight Deals

Amazon’s ‘Prime Day Spotlight Deals’ have not only replaced last year’s ‘Deals of the Day’, there was also a significant increase in the number of eye-catching promotions. At 9:00am this morning there were 66 ‘Spotlight Deals’ compared to just seven ‘Deals of the Day’ at the same time last year.


Amazon UK website 12 July 2016 (9:00am)

Amazon television promotions

Last year Amazon drew criticism on social media, with Abode reporting that 58 percent of tweets relating to Prime Day expressed a negative sentiment. The majority of the criticism were shoppers expressing frustration over a perceived lack of deals on desirable items such as televisions and laptops. Amazon’s day of discounts, meant to rival Black Friday and Cyber Monday, was deemed by some shoppers to be a ‘mish mosh of crap’, a ‘garage sale’ and ‘trash’.

Amazon appears to have responded to last year’s backlash as the second product on its ‘Spotlight Deals’ section advertised ‘Up to 40% off Televisions’. The e-tailer promoted one 28 inch LG televisions and three Eternity televisions. The Eternity televisions appear to have been specifically listed for Prime Day as all three were first listed by the e-tailer on 20 June 2016.


Amazon UK website 12 July 2016 (9:00am)

The LG 28MT48S 28 inch Smart television that Amazon promoted was also available on the Ao.com, Currys and Richer Sounds websites. The Amazon deal price was £139.99; this was £30 less than the next lowest price offered by Currys.

For an existing Prime member this may be a very attractive deal. However a savvy non-member would also save money if they bought this product having signed up to the free 30-day Amazon Prime trial or taken out just one month’s membership at a cost of £7.99.


Brand View Daily Price and Promotions 12 July 2016

Amazon laptop and tablet promotions

Also at 9:00am, Amazon featured two Lenovo laptops and two Microsoft Surface tablets in its ‘Spotlight Deals’.


Amazon UK website 12 July 2016 (9:00am)

The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 12.3 Inch tablet (i5 processor, 128GB) also included a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 typecover, and was available to Prime members at £749.99.

John Lewis list similar bundles, albeit with different colour variations at £958.95. Currys also list a similar bundle for £958.99.


Currys website 12 July 2016

However if the shopper is not worried about the colour of the typecover, they could buy the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 12.3 inch tablet (i5 processor, 128GB) separately at £849 and then the red Microsoft Surface Pro typecover – which was on promotion in Currys at £79.99 – for a total of £928.99.

This means that a shopper looking to purchase this product could buy a full year’s Amazon Prime membership and still save at least £100 compared to a similar purchase from a competitor store.

Rival promotions

Last year Argos and Currys specifically launched website banners and promotions to rival Prime Day. This year they appear to have scaled back on these counter promotions, however both had web banners offering free delivery. The Currys banner advertised free next day delivery which would normally cost £3.95.

Both retailers are trying to rival Amazon’s free next day delivery for Prime members but Argos took it one step further by offering free same day delivery and even highlighted the difference between them, boldly stating on its banner: ‘No subscription needed’.


Argos website 12 July 2016

Will Amazon Prime Day 2016 be a success?

Amazon has significantly increased the number of headline deals this Prime Day compared to last year and has prominently featured reductions on big ticket items. The e-tailer will be hoping this will result in an increase in both sales and Amazon Prime member subscriptions beyond those seen last year. Its rivals’ decreased number of promotional deals, compared to last year, may well help Amazon achieve this goal. The greater prominence of reductions on big ticket items should also help Amazon avoid the social media backlash it received in 2015.

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