Twitter data reveals the agony and the ecstasy of Amazon Prime Day

Prime members purchased more than 175 million items during the online sales extravaganza.

Twitter data reveals the agony and the ecstasy of Amazon Prime Day
[Photo: Getty]

Amazon’s latest Prime Day event is now behind us, and the e-commerce giant would like you to know that it delivered all the appropriate superlatives.


According to the company, Prime members purchased more than 175 million items during the online sales extravaganza, making this “once again the largest shopping event in Amazon history.” I counted no fewer than five instances of the word “biggest” in Amazon’s Prime Day press release, along with liberal sprinklings of “largest,” “best,” and “best-selling.” In a nutshell, everyone is a winner on Prime Day.

But those cheery feelings aren’t universal across social media. According to a sentiment analysis by Sprout Social, an analytics platform for businesses, Amazon’s Prime Day did indeed generate lots of chatter—184,610 tweets between July 15 and July 16 to be exact—but less than half of it was categorically positive. Specifically, Sprout Social found that social sentiment around the event broke down this way:

  • Positive: 46%
  • Unrated: 38%
  • Negative: 16%

Sprout Social determined sentiment by analyzing a number of key words, hashtags, and handles, including #PrimeDay, #PrimeDays, @Amazon, #AmazonPrimeDay, and/or “Prime Day.”

So what are all those negative users tweeting about? While it’s probably impossible to unpack the entire range of gripes people may have with a company the size of Amazon (“One-day shipping is one day too slow!”), Sprout Social was able to uncover certain themes when it dug into the data. Specifically, workplace-related issues appear to be among the more salient topics, likely driven by the strikes that were reported earlier in the week at certain warehouses.

Here’s a list of some of the more frequently used words and hashtags by volume:

  • Workers” was used in 34,145 of the tweets
  • Pay” was used in 22,753 of the tweets
  • Strike” was used in 18,735 of the tweets
  • #amazonstrike was used in 15,659 of the tweets
  • #primedaystrike was used in 7,059 of the tweets

Of course, it’s hard to say how much of an impact social media chatter really has on consumer sentiment in general. Amazon is a walled garden where people often start and stop their shopping activities in a bubble, and according to Amazon’s press release, the walls of its garden are getting even higher: The company says it saw more new Prime sign ups on Monday than any single day in its history.

This post has been updated with fresher data from Sprout Social.

About the author

Christopher Zara is a senior staff news editor for Fast Company and obsessed with media, technology, business, culture, and theater. Before coming to FastCo News, he was a deputy editor at International Business Times, a theater critic for Newsweek, and managing editor of Show Business magazine