Let's give them something to talk about.
Following shoppers' complaints that Amazon's inaugural Prime Day felt more like a garage sale than a Black Friday doorbuster, the retailer's second take on the made-up sales event is embracing all things weird.
While Tuesday's sale offered steep discounts on popular items including a Samsung curved 55-inch 4K TV for $650, or nearly half off, and a KitchenAid Stand Mixer for about $250, or $100 off, it also included things like beard oil and light bulbs.
The retailer even had a page of deals called "Weird and Wonderful," where it touted such items as LED flashing finger gloves and adult-size animal costume pajamas.
"I think last year it was kind of unintentional. This year it's very intentional," Steve Osburn, a director at Kurt Salmon, said of the event's sometimes strange assortment. "At the end of the day it gets people talking so it's working."
Indeed, shoppers took to social media on Tuesday to share their strange findings:
By early afternoon, e-commerce software company ChannelAdvisor said that Prime Day's revenues were in line with the prior year. ChannelAdvisor helps roughly 3,000 retailers sell online including on marketplaces like Amazon. "It looks like Amazon has spread out the deals more," ChannelAdvisor's Scot Wingo said.
Amazon shares ended the day slightly lower, near $748, after recovering some of the ground they lost immediately following ChannelAdvisor's report. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said his firm remains confident that Prime Day will result in unit growth of 37 percent or more, as ChannelAdvisor's data does not cover all Amazon sellers. It also relates solely to comparable sales trends, Munster said.
"Given total suppliers have more than doubled for this year's Prime Day, it is naturally expected that same-store sales growth would be facing a headwind," Munster told investors.
Late afternoon, Amazon spokeswoman Ana Rigby said Prime members were shopping at "record levels." She noted that Amazon has seen a more than 30 percent increase in the number of items sold by small businesses and sellers on Prime Day from a year earlier.
In the 24 hours leading up to the event, there were nearly 19,000 tweets about Prime Day, according to online media monitoring platform Visibrain. That's nearly double from the same period last year, when there were more than 9,000, the firm said.
And as of 12 p.m. ET there had been more than 142,000 Tweets about the event, compared with some 74,000 last year, the firm said. The hashtag #PrimeDayFail, which took off during last year's event, gained traction again, but its use was only a fraction of what it was last year, Visibrain said.
Amazon had defended its sometimes strange offerings ahead of Prime Day, saying that unlike Black Friday, the sale is more about self-gifting and stocking up on household goods. Indeed, in the days leading up to Tuesday's sale, Amazon offered discounts on products ranging from protein powder to an HP Notebook.
"What could be weird to one person may be wonderful to someone else," Amazon spokeswoman Julie Law told CNBC last month. "We really stand behind the deals we had last year and the deals we have this year."
It makes sense that Amazon's sale would cover such a broad range of products, said Traci Gregorski, senior vice president of marketing at Market Track.
"By nature their assortment is so large and vast that ... some of those [strange] things are going to come up," she told CNBC Tuesday. Still, Gregorski said it appears this year's assortment is "more geared toward things that people were looking for this year and Black Friday." That includes a broader selection on wearables and electronics, she said.
"The discounts are fairly significant," Gregorski said.
Her firm, which studied nearly 2,000 products at 6 a.m. ET, found average discounts ranged between 20 percent and 30 percent. Some of the steepest price cuts were on tablets, tools and video games, according to Market Track's data.
Early analysis from BestBlackFriday.com found that many of the Prime Day deals beat or were equal to the most recent Black Friday and Prime Day events. Phil Dengler, co-founder of the deals website, said the Samsung TV deal was particularly good.
"Last year, the lowest price for a similar Samsung television was at P.C. Richard & Son Cyber Monday... for $998.91," he said.