Prime Day 2016 Lackluster Performance

Today is’s self-proclaimed “Prime Day” holiday, in which the e-tailer (and soon to be retailer) discounts vast amounts of products from a wide range of categories exclusively for Amazon Prime members. Prime membership includes free two-day shipping on many products across the catalog, among other perks like Prime Video, Prime Music, et al. The clock started today, presumably at 12 am. For me, I only began around 6 am, but experience has been less than optimal.

While shopping, I would often add deals to my cart only to find no deal was applied. Returning to the page verified there was a deal, and the area indicating the deal showed a loading icon spinning, “Adding to cart failed. Retrying…”, it read. Even removing the item from my cart didn’t change anything. The message eventually said I had already received the deal, but I never actually bought anything. In addition to these issues, Amazon’s servers were sluggish, taking about 30 seconds to first load images, then activate the buy button; that is, the button to buy was not enabled and could not be clicked until after the additional images loaded. It seems strange that the barrier to buy is time. All this while you’re fighting against that time since deals often expire after being sent to your cart. If you’re like me, you like to casually browse throughout an hour or so, maybe a day or week, and then buy in aggregate. Granted, this is a single day event, but the issues with cart displaying deals and the long load times make hitting those deadlines impossible.

Your network mileage may vary. So far, I have tried my home WiFi network and my Sprint LTE network, but these experienced the same issues. Next I’ll give it a shot at my office WiFi, but if it happens there, I can pretty much assume that it’s Amazon’s on servers handling the massive load of millions of customers (worldwide?).

The current deal offerings are also relatively bland. Many products lack reviews, which is why they’re probably on the clearance rack. I managed to snag a deal using my Amazon Echo, but that was it. I already had some items in my cart from earlier in the week, so I went ahead and checked out. I’m hoping for additional releases throughout the day, but it’s unclear if today is anything more than just one super light deal day for prime members only.