Amazon Prime Day Poised to Return Next Year

Strong Shopper Turnout Could Turn Sales Day Into Annual Event

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Amazon Prime Day may become an annual event after it broke the retailer's own records for sales and Prime member gains in a single day, the company announced today.

"Going into this, we weren't sure whether Prime Day would be a one-time thing or if it would become an annual event," said Greg Greeley, VP-Amazon Prime, in a statement. "After yesterday's results, we'll definitely be doing this again."

The sales event sparked criticism from customers on social media who weren't impressed with the deals, but Amazon still came out ahead.

During the promotional event -- held on July 15 in celebration of the e-tailer's 20th anniversary -- Amazon sold 34.4 million items worldwide, or 398 items per second, more than on any Black Friday.

More new members also tried Amazon's paid-subscription service, Prime, than on any single day in the program's 10-year history. Customers had to register for Prime in order to access the exclusive deals on Prime Day. But new subscribers receive a free one-month trial before they have to pay the $99 annual membership fee, so it remains to be seen whether the gains on Prime Day will lead to an actual uptick in paid memberships. Amazon declined to comment specifically on how Prime Day impacted Prime subscriptions.

Prime members also saved millions on deals and ordered hundreds of thousands of Amazon devices, like the Fire TV Stick and Fire tablet, making it the company's largest device sales day ever. Overall order growth worldwide increased 266% over the same day last year, and 18% more than Black Friday 2014, which was Amazon's biggest Black Friday ever, according to the company.

Walmart, which ran a competing promotional event on July 15, has not announced the results of its sale. Unlike Amazon, Walmart's rollbacks, or discounts, last for 90 days rather than a single day.