Amazon’s Prime Day Was Good, But Not Good Enough

Although this year’s event set another sales record at $12.7 billion, it fell short of estimates, exposing the company’s struggle to not just be great at delivery but also a great retailer.

| Updated on: Jul 15 2023, 06:33 IST
4 slim smartphones with big storage: From Realme Narzo 60 Pro, iQOO Neo 6 to Oppo F23
This year’s event spread over July 11 and 12, set another sales record at $12.7 billion.
1/5 In the era where smartphones have become a necessary part of our lives, there are multiple aspects such as design, performance, and very importantly, storage capacity that one considers before making the actual purchase. Users today are more tech-savvy than ever and understand that excess storage does not just help you store more data, but also offers an overall smoother experience. What is also important are the looks of a phone. A heavy looking phone is not very popular, but a slim one generally is. There are some of smartphones, which will fulfill your needs: So, here we present 5 slim smartphones with big storage includiing Realme Narzo 60 Pro, Lava Agni 2 5G, iQOO Neo 6 and more. (HT Tech)
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2/5 Realme Narzo 60 Pro 5G The massive storage of Real me Narzo 60 Pro 5G allows consumers to have a smooth experience with the device. The Realme Narzo 60 Pro 5G also comes with a 100MP OIS Pro Light Camera and a 16MP selfie camera. It features a 6.7 inches 120Hz Curved Vision Display and strong battery support of 5000mAh with 67W SUPERVOOC charging. It is powered by the Dimensity 7050 5G Chipset that offers outstanding performance. The phone is available in three storage variants: 8GB+128GB and 12GB+256GB and  12GB+1TB starting at Rs.23,999. (Realme)
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3/5 Lava Agni 2 5G It features a 50MP quad camera and a 16MP front camera. Furthermore, the phone features a 6.78'' FHD+ AMOLED curved display with 120Hz Refresh Rate along with solid build quality. The phone also packs a 4700mAh Battery with 66W Charging and is powered by the 7050 Octa-core processor. The Agni 2 5G is available with 8GB and 256GB storage priced at Rs.21,999 on Amazon.  (Lava)
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4/5 iQOO Neo 6 5G It houses a 64MP OIS Main camera. Moreover, the phone features a 120Hz E4 AMOLED Display. Packing a solid 4700mAh Battery with 80W flash Charge, this phone is powered by the Snapdragon 870 5G for you to have an uninterrupted experience. iQOO Neo 6 5G comes in two storage variants of 8GB+128GB priced at INR 24,999 and 12GB+256GB priced at Rs. 28,999.  (iQOO )
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5/5 Oppo F23 5GThe phone features a 6.72" 120 Hz FHD+ display and houses a 64MP AI Camera and a 32 MP front camera to capture the best shots. The device packs a 5000mAh battery with 67W SUPERVOOC Charging and is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 processor. The Oppo F23 5G comes with 8GB RAM + 256GB ROM  storage and is priced at Rs. 28,999.  (OPPO)
This year’s event spread over July 11 and 12, set another sales record at $12.7 billion.
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This year’s event spread over July 11 and 12, set another sales record at $12.7 billion. (REUTERS)

For years now, Inc.'s seminal Prime Day has turned historically slow July spending into a Black Friday-esque sales event. But this year sales fell short of forecasts, which says more about Amazon than the state of consumers. This year's event, actually spread over July 11 and 12, set another sales record at $12.7 billion. That's about 6% more than last year but less than the 9.5% gain forecast by the Adobe Digital Economic Index, which expected steep discounts would drive higher demand. So what gives?

One read is that elevated levels of inflation are curbing demand at the same time shoppers are hearing about economists assigning a 65% chance of a recession over the next year. However, about 40% of Amazon shoppers earn more than $100,000 a year, compared with the $73,500 median household income of a Walmart Inc. shopper, and are less likely to be as sensitive to inflation. But then again, inflation has cooled, slowing for 12 months, going from 9.1% to 3%.

Perhaps a better read is that this year's results expose Amazon's struggle to become not just a great delivery company but a great retailer. The struggle is more urgent than ever as Amazon's cloud computing business suffers from a demand slowdown of its own. Although the company's shares are up 60% this year, they are down 28% since peaking in July 2021 while the S&P 500 Index has gained almost 5%. Analysts have steadily lowered their 12-month price targets for the company's stock, from an average of around $200 early last year to a current $144, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The shares closed at $134.30 on Thursday.

The signs leading into Prime Day all pointed toward Amazon flexing its tech muscle to spur spending. It ramped up how it uses artificial intelligence to serve personalized deals to Prime members and rolled out invite-only discounts to create a feeling of scarcity and exclusivity. It even partnered with Booking Holdings Inc.'s Priceline to offer travel deals, including 20% off Priceline's Hotel Express in addition to its typical up to 60% hotel discounts. It also unveiled steep discounts on goods and delivery services across its Amazon Fresh stores.

But even with AI-enabled personalized marketing, Amazon couldn't force consumers to spend more than they otherwise would have. An early read of spending by consumer insights firm Numerator found the top items bought were Temptations Cat Treats, Fire TV Sticks, and Liquid I.V. Packets. Shoppers were also buying Amazon's brand-name toilet paper, organic protein powder, and Bissell's Little Green carpet cleaner. This doesn't quite prove Amazon's success in getting shoppers to give in to their impulses and dig deeper into their pockets even with tech-enabled marketing.

Nevertheless, Amazon's online presence is so great that competitors from Walmart to Macy's Inc. see no other choice than to offer their own deals during the same week when Prime Day is held. And yet, even with the additional competition, Amazon captured the bulk of retail sales over the two-day event. Salesforce found online spending on sites other than Amazon fell by 7% over both days, which it attributed to lackluster discounts that hovered around 18%, smaller than last year. Average deals on Amazon were equally as drab, with discounts on electronics peaking at 14% off the listed price, toys at 12%, computers at 8%, and TVs at 5%, according to Adobe Analytics.

Amazon's strength is its size. It runs the country's biggest online delivery company, serving 167 million members. But with revenue growth slowing across its cloud business — Bloomberg Intelligence says deteriorating corporate IT spending and the lack of growth catalysts from generative AI could fail to ignite a rebound for at least two quarters — Amazon needs to sharpen its retail strategy. If this year's Prime Day is any indication of what's to come, Amazon has a lot of work to do.

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First Published Date: 15 Jul, 06:33 IST