Monday night marked the beginning of Amazon Prime Day, a day-long sales event in which Amazon advertises a steady stream of special offers to members of its Prime subscription service.
The event lasts through Tuesday, and, if history is any indication, is likely to reel in plenty of sales for Amazon.
But the prospect of new sales at such a massive online shopping presence could also have a less-than-ideal side effect: people getting distracted at work.
To put a number on it: Prime Day could result in roughly $US10 billion in lost productivity, according to CNBC data journalist Eric Chemi. Chemi suggests that with most of the roughly 85 million Prime members spending an estimated average of 1 minute on Amazon every time a new round of deals pop up, over the length of a 30-hour event, there’ll be many hours not spent looking at spreadsheets and word processors. And that should only be exacerbated by the number of people who’ll think about buying Prime to look into what’s available.
At the same time, Chemi notes, it’s not like everyone in the office spends their entire day working. Amazon will likely cut into the time spent on Facebook, Reddit, and other popular distractions as well as work.
Whatever the case, that Amazon has managed to manufactured a event like Prime Day, whose deals are regularly hit-or-miss, is a testament to its popularity. And as it continues to use events like this to gobble up Prime members, who spend roughly twice as much on Amazon than their non-Prime counterparts, its vise grip on the online shopping market is likely to grow, and its contributions to time-wasting along with it.
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