This is a meta post, not an actual deal. It is the promised Post Prime-Day Post-Mortem Post, finally posted here 🙂 Please feel free to share your thoughts on Prime Day in the Comments!
Mapping the MAPs
With most of the major manufacturers going the way of MAP pricing, this presented a big opportunity for Rokinon/Samyang to offer a variety of different lenses for different mounts. With most of the bigger names sitting out, they got most of the Lensaholic attention, and getting people’s attention is half the battle for a not-as-well-known lens company.
Of what I spotted, there was the Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 lens, the Sony a6000 two-lens kit late in the day, and a Nikon D3300 bundle that wasn’t sold by Amazon itself, but a Ritz Camera bundle. Among the fixed lens cameras, there was Ricoh Theta, a GoPro early morning bundle that got sold out before I woke up, and an action camera from the Kodak name holders.
The MAP thing, favored by most consumer electronics companies these days, also helped Amazon’s own products get more of the spotlight since more famous products from other manufacturers were not participating.
The Era of the Modest Doorbuster
Amazon has gotten way too big to offer really hot doorbusters. There are simply too many shoppers paying attention. Even on Prime Day, with a smaller percentage of shoppers participating, they still numbered in the many millions. Amazon increased the lifecycle of most lightning deals on Prime Day from the usual 4-hours to 6-hours.
Many of the offers were more of the pragmatic and utilitarian slow-burn kind. Sure, there were still offers that sold out quickly, offers that spent a lot of their lifecycle in Waiting List status, and there were some technical issues for some people earlier on. It was telling that coconut oil sold out faster than a lot of consumer electronics 🙂
Amazon had a bit of a twist this time. In addition to the customary Lightning Deals, they also offered a lot of “Add to Cart” offers where you got the discount by adding to cart, but there were no countdowns and no waiting lists, and the items did not get featured as prominently. Most people are trained to look for the Gold Box and Prime Day deals.
Their presentation and organization of things is getting better visually, it’s no longer just a long list of products. They’ve been struggling with this for many years. Some were a bit on the bloated size (unnecessarily giant images on bigger desktop monitors), but overall an improvement over previous years.
The Watching feature is finally getting more useful and featured more prominently, with reliable syncing between the various Amazon platforms, desktop web, mobile web, and apps.
For whatever reason, Amazon decided to remove the ability to sort Lightning Deals by time (it used to be the default way) in the main Gold Box. This was great for power users. They instead replaced it by an algorithm hotness/trending type of a sorting mechanism. This is great for people who check in once a day, but why not keep the Date sorting as an option in the menu? They have options to sort by price, which is rather ridiculous when you are looking at thousands of deals of products of every possible kind.
With too many items featured, there was a bigger discoverability problem. You basically had to go through each department kicking the bushes looking for deals. For example, the 20% off book coupon was not mentioned anywhere except for the physical books pages.
With so many different spin-off services, some items become a pain to buy on Amazon. If you are looking for consumable type of items, there are as many as FIVE different separate ways to buy them. Yes, FIVE! The regular Amazon, Subscribe and Save, Prime Pantry, AmazonFresh, and PrimeNOW. Different services, with different prices and quantities at each one.
While they offered a no-strings-attached free 30-day trial for non-members, whenever you have an event where some people are not allowed to participate, it can consciously and/or subconsciously negatively influence the opinions of non-participants towards the service.
Even though I was as productive as I could be covering Prime Day (absent cloning and/or army of minions), I still missed posting a number of good tech offers early in the day. A number of which got posted in the night wave when the camera and photo schedule madness finally slowed down.
There were fewer blog errors and typos and confusions than I would have expected for such a chaotic event. Or I didn’t notice them 🙂 The biggest goof was perhaps me accidentally starting a Kindle Unlimited subscription while trying to copy the url 🙂
The high-speed scrolling feature of the mouse proved to be the most useful technological thing in covering this. It was the best way to traverse the giant Situation Room post.
Speaking of which, according to WordPress, I revised that post 203 times 🙂