You could certainly call Jeff Bezos a master of invention.
Ahead of Amazon's second-annual Prime Day, a much-hyped sales event that offers deals to the company's subscription Prime members, new data from an online traffic and analytics firm found the made-up holiday generated the fourth largest amount of visitors of any day last year.
Prime Day brought 179 million visitors to the desktop and mobile sites of the top 25 U.S. retailers last July, according to SimilarWeb. That compares with 216 million on Thanksgiving, 219 million on Cyber Monday, and 248 million on Black Friday. Prime Day's numbers are all the more impressive in that they occurred in what is typically a slow month for retailers.
Yet Amazon wasn't the only retailer to reap the rewards of the event, which was originally designed to celebrate its 20th birthday. As a flood of shoppers took to the web to check out the deals and compare prices, competitors including Wal-Mart and Macy's likewise saw a lift in traffic, SimilarWeb's data found.
Similar to last year, when Wal-Mart ran a competing sale of its own, the world's largest retailer is promoting its online site ahead Tuesday's Prime Day. Last week, Wal-Mart said it would offer a free 30-day trial for ShippingPass, its competitor to Amazon Prime.
Neither Amazon nor SimilarWeb has issued a specific forecast for this year's Prime Day. But Amazon spokeswoman Julie Law said last week that the company expects it to be "another record-breaking Prime Day."