Amazon’s PR Prowess Shines on Prime Day

amazon prime day

Amazon’s behemoth day of sales called Prime Day came and went in 36 hours last week. Prime Day has been around for three years and at this point it’s pretty much a tradition  … dare we say it’s an official shopping holiday? It’s starting to look that way as more retailers piled onto the sales frenzy this year. Newegg, Walmart, Dell and Best Buy offered deep discounts and big sales during Prime Day, an event that others opted to call “Sales Day.” Lowe’s and eBay went as far as offering a free Google Home Mini to anyone who reached a certain dollar amount in transactions.

Whole Foods, now a wholly owned subsidiary of Amazon, offered a $10 Amazon credit to anyone who spent an equal amount in store. While Amazon did the legwork to get consumers ready to spend on July 16th and 17th, all the other retailers had to do was show up and reap the rewards.

amazon prime dog

As it turned out, Amazon was a victim of its own success.

This year, Prime Day was so big that  the company’s website went down for a few hours when the deals went live. The outage was so extreme it even took down services for Alexa, Prime Video and Web Hosting throughout the company.

Luckily, Amazon was prepared for this with a fun 404 page. Rather than a simple error message, the company linked users to an interesting and informative blog featuring an adorable, smiling puppy (a different dog every time you got an error message!) owned by a member of the Amazon team. Sure, error messages are annoying, but how can you be mad when you see that face?

This foresight by Amazon went a long way in keeping the narrative around Prime Day positive even when the website was down and customers were forced to stop shopping. Driving customers to the blog is a smart move – they’re always happy to see the human side of your company and it’s a pleasant distraction when the website crashes. It paid off, too. Amazon reported sales of over 100 million items during the 36-hour sales period. That’s more than 2.8 million sales every hour.

Smart and subtle PR tactics like this are part of the reason why Amazon has grown to its current position of power − a level that allows them to create a shopping holiday out of thin air in just three short years.

Did you buy anything during Prime Day? Let us know in the comments.

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