AUSTRALIA'S first ever Amazon Prime Day kicked off at midday yesterday - but despite the hype, shoppers have slammed the sale's mediocre discounts and limited offerings.

The 36-hour sales event, which ends at midnight tonight, offered thousands of deals across a range of categories including tech, toys, fashion, books and appliances.

But there's a catch - the sale is available only to Amazon Prime members.

While the launch of the annual sale in the US was hit by technical glitches, things seemed to go more or less smoothly in Australia.

But that hasn't stopped local shoppers sharing their brutal take on the sale on social media.

While several social media defended the deals on offer, Queensland University of Technology retail expert Dr Gary Mortimer said it seemed Amazon was struggling to lure Aussies onto the site, and that the strategy of restricting the sale to Prime members may have cost the online retail giant.

"The challenge Amazon faces here in Australia is recruiting customers onto the platform quickly so that the business becomes viable - currently amazon.com.au is the fifth most frequented online marketplace, well behind the likes of eBay and Gumtree," he said.

"Prime Day is another example of penetrating the market to capture market share quickly. But their Prime offer in Australia is certainly a lot lower than in the US.

"One of the challenges Amazon faces entering the market so late in the game is that shoppers have already developed relationships with incumbent online players and multichannel retailers, and shoppers are now saying, 'what is the value in moving across to an Amazon platform?'

"Things like Prime Day and low cost Prime memberships are certainly one strategy. To get the deals, you have to pay the membership fee, and that's very much about capturing as much market share as possible … it's about recruiting shoppers."

Prime Day Australia has received mixed reactions on social media.
Prime Day Australia has received mixed reactions on social media.

Amazon Australia country manager Rocco Braeuniger did not respond to the social media backlash, instead insisting the sale was so far "exceeding expectations".

"We have been humbled by the response from Prime members to Prime Day in Australia, with demand exceeding our expectations, and sales surpassing Boxing Day on the first day," he told news.com.au.

"Members across the country have snapped up the thousands of deals during the shopping event reserved exclusively for Prime members - and it's not over.

"Prime Day deals continue until midnight … across all 23 categories, from toys and gaming consoles, to fashion and books, with deep discounts continuing throughout the day."

According to Mr Braeuniger, top sellers so far include Echo devices, Huggies Nappies, the PS4 Pro 1TB Console, Bose QuietComfort Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones and Kindle Paperwhite.

He said the Nintendo Switch was snapped up by customers in less than one minute yesterday, and as a result, a new Nintendo Switch Lightning Deal will go live later today for those who missed out.

Other deals which will go live on the site today include:

Ring Spotlight HD Security Camera: $194.99

PlayStation 4 500GB

Ray Ban Aviators: from $119.20

Barbie Large Rescue Vehicle: $40.99

Beats Studio Wireless Over-Ear Headphone: $255

Coleman Stove Guide Series Duel Fuel 1-Burner: $79.99

Fisher-Price Rock-A-Stack: $6.99

Finish Powerball Quantum Dishwasher Tablets: 80 pack $16.23

Nikon D3400 + AF-P 18-55mm STD Kit: $399

Sennheiser Momentum AEG Black Headphones: $239.99

Hot Wheels Ultimate Garage: $59.99

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story DVD: $11.99

 

alexis.carey@news.com.au



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