July 12, 2017 1:11 pm

Amazon Prime Day: The Canadian kitchen product that crushed competition

The Instant Pot pressure cooker topped sales during Amazon Prime Day.

Instant Pot

Amazon Prime Day is being hailed a success by the company after it saw the “biggest day ever” for sales — and a Canadian startup has a big reason to celebrate.

The event, which began at 9 p.m. ET Monday, offered Amazon Prime members 30 hours to shop exclusive deals and led to more sales than past Black Friday and Cyber Monday events. The company saw a boost in sales of more than 50 per cent from last year’s Prime Day event, it said in a press release.

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The most commonly purchased item around the world was Amazon’s Echo Dot speaker. But a Canadian kitchen appliance, created by an Ottawa-based company, topped sales charts in Canada and the United States.

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The Instant Pot, an electric pressure cooker, was the most-sold item in Canada. Excluding Amazon-brand products, the pressure cooker led sales in the U.S. as well.

The product was sold for $99 in Canada, and $89 in the U.S. Currently the product is selling for $179 in Canada.

Anna Dimeglio, who works with Instant Pot, said the company is “very, very happy” with their performance. Instant Pot sold 250,000 units through Amazon during the sale in Canada, U.S. and Europe combined. Dimeglio noted that is “much higher” than normal daily sales.

“We’ve worked very, very hard. You’re never quite sure how you’re going to do,” she told Global News.

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Dimeglio credited the company’s success to its unique business idea that specializes in only electric pressure cookers, adding that it has also created a community around its product.

“It’s really a grassroots phenomenon,” she said.

Most of the product’s users heard about it through word-of-mouth, Dimeglio explained. She added that the Facebook community of more than 500,000 keeps users engaged by giving them a space to share recipes and experiences.

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On Prime Day, the page added about 1,000 new members an hour, she noted.

The second most popular Prime Day product in Canada was an eight-pack of AA rechargeable batteries. While in the U.S., 23andMe DNA testing kits came in second place.

Competitors offered their own sales

Amazon competitors were offering their own deals during the online giant’s promotional event.

As Amazon’s event kicked off Monday, eBay launched its price match guarantee in Canada.

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“Our deals are incredibly competitive, but with eBay Price Match Guarantee, shoppers will have even more confidence knowing that when they shop on eBay.ca, they’re getting the best value available in Canada,” said the company’s managing director Andrea Stairs in a press release.

The e-commerce site also kicked off its summer deals event on Monday, which lasts until July 18, carefully noting that its event doesn’t require memberships.

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In the U.S., retailers such as Macy’s, JCPenney and Kohl’s offered incentives such as free shipping and discounts. Notably, Walmart didn’t have special deals but highlighted two-day shipping and extra discounts for store pickups.

Amazon shares traded as high as US$1,004.75 on NASDAQ Wednesday morning, following its announcement that it had its best sales day yet.

—With files from The Associated Press

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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