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Customers Happier With Second Amazon Prime Day

By Daniel B. Kline – Jul 14, 2016 at 9:12AM

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After a rocky year one (even though sales were tremendous) the online retailer delivered a better experience in 2016.

Last year, Amazon (AMZN -0.77%) broke sales records with its Prime Day promotion, a sort of Black Friday/Cyber Monday in July for members of Amazon Prime.

The problem with the event was that even though it attracted a ton of people who clearly spent money, many of them were underwhelmed by the selection of deals. Amazon promised to fix that this year -- Prime Day was July 12 -- and it clearly worked, according to research from Adobe (ADBE -0.44%) Digital Insights.

"39% of overall sentiment around Amazon Prime Day was related to sadness, compared to 50% last year," wrote the researchers in statement emailed to media. "Joy reached 30% compared to 23% in 2015. 22% of social sentiment is attributed to admiration and 9% to surprise."

That's a big turnaround for Amazon, as the last thing the company wants is a manufactured sales holiday that makes people sad. A big event like this will always leave some people disappointed. Maybe the item you want sold out or maybe whatever you hoped to purchase was not part of the sale, but these numbers suggest that the online retailer did a better job of meeting expectations.

Adobe bases its report on more than 4 million "social engagements" captured from July 2015 and July 2016, aggregated from blogs, Twitter, Instagram, WordPress, Reddit, Foursquare, and other sites.

Amazon's own devices, including Kindle, were among the big sellers. Image source: Amazon.

How did Prime Day make people feel?

Adobe found that people had the most positive feeling for 4K TVs, pressure cookers, OnHub, and Xboxes along with two of Amazon's own products, the Echo and the Kindle. Not every product made people happy, as noted by the 39% sadness number, and the researchers found reasons for that as well.

"Later in the day, the main contributor to sadness surrounded more of the "odd deals" that started to surface, along with people having issues adding items to their cart and checking out, compared to last year focusing on the lack of blockbuster deals," the company wrote.

Happy or sad, people shopped

Like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Amazon has created a sales day which now looks to be a permanent part of the calendar. Clearly the company learned some lessons from last year and delivered a more satisfying experience overall, which led to major sales increases.

The second annual Prime Day was the company's biggest sales day ever, beating last year's orders by more than 60% worldwide and more than 50% in the United States, the company said in a press release. Even better for Amazon is that the day also produced the highest single-day sales for its own products, including Fire TV, Fire tablets, Kindle e-readers, and Alexa-enabled devices.

That's a double win for the company because every device it sells becomes a sort of mini-Amazon living in people's homes. Kindles create opportunities for app sales, Fire TV creates subscription and rental revenue, while e-readers lead to book sales.

Just three of the stats Amazon shared in its press release:

  • More than 90,000 TVs were purchased on Prime Day 2016.
  • More than a million customers used the Amazon app for the first time on Prime Day to shop and to watch-a-deal.
  • More than one million pairs of shoes were purchased.

The company seemed pretty thrilled about all of this and Prime Vice President Greg Greeley issued a statement thanking customers: "We want to thank our tens of millions of members around the world for making this the biggest day in the history of Amazon. We hope you had as much fun as we did. After yesterday's results, we'll definitely be doing this again," he said.

That almost didn't need to be said as it's clear that Prime Day has succeeded and the results this year show that any lingering negative feelings from 2015 did nothing to keep consumers from buying.

Daniel Kline has no position in any stocks mentioned. He bought his mom a Fire TV Stick on Prime Day. She did not get him anything. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends and Twitter. The Motley Fool recommends Adobe Systems. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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