Amazon.com is expected to see nearly two billion visits this month, making it the retailer’s third-busiest month by site traffic after December and November. The anticipated surge in traffic was evident immediately after Prime Day went live at 3pm EST on July 16, taking down multiple sections of the Amazon site; by 4pm, some sections still weren’t functioning properly. The technical snafu doesn’t appear to have discouraged shoppers. An Amazon representative confirmed that “Prime Day sales in the US so far are bigger than ever” and some deals were already 50% claimed just an hour after launching.

As the 36-hour event hits its halfway point, here are some highlights observed by Gartner L2 analysts:

Discounts span a greater range of categories. No single category accounts for more than 10% of offers in the “SHOP ALL DEALS” catalogue featured on the Amazon.com homepage. Home, Electronics, and Sports & Outdoors account for 9, 8, and 7% of deals respectively, followed by Home Improvement and Beauty. If the breakdown of sales matches that of the assortment offered, then Prime Day poses the greatest competition to mass merchants and Big Box stores.

Prime Day

New Echo devices are some of the most heavily discounted. The Echo Look, an offshoot of the flagship Echo that launched last month, is discounted by 50% during Prime Day, more than any other Echo device. The flagship Echo device is discounted by 30%, down from last year’s 50% off deal. The degree to which Amazon discounts its own devices is telling of where the company wants to accelerate user adoption, indicating that this year the Echo Look is a major initiative.

Ad buys are bigger. With so many brands vying for optimal search visibility during Prime Day, many marketers have opted to run large display ads on Prime Day, including Reckitt Benkiser on behalf of its Lysol and Finish brands as well as Under Armour, Fossil, Philips Sonicare, Oral-B, Coleman, and Enfamil, among others.

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