Over 200,000 dresses were sold globally on Tuesday (11 July) via Amazon's Prime Day promotional shopping event, with overall sales growth up by more than 60% over last year according to the online retailer.

The day features deals reserved exclusively for Prime members and Amazon says this year's event was "the biggest day ever in Amazon history," with sales surpassing Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

50% more Prime members made a purchase this year compared to the same day last year. While technology, toys and books raked in the biggest sales, apparel too experienced significant sales with more than 200,000 women's dresses sold.

Analysts have described Prime Day as "another wake-up call for retailers everywhere," and suggest traditional brick-and-mortar retailers should consider providing a more seamless online experience in order to keep up with the likes of Amazon.

"Prime Day is a promotional event, and every retailer can, and does, run promotions. The difference with Amazon is that Prime membership is all about locking customers into their fulfilment experience," explains Nick McLean, CEO at omni-channel order management system provider OrderDynamics.

"So many other retailers still seem to miss the point that order fulfilment is critical to customer loyalty. Not all retailers can offer the world's biggest product selection. But many retailers can combine their online presence and, unlike Amazon, their brick and mortar locations to offer customer convenience and instant gratification through a differentiated, omni-channel strategy. With the right strategy, they can also tie into Amazon for trickle-down success."

Tushar Patel, CMO at Kibo, a cloud-based unified commerce platform provider, adds retailers need to be "capitalising on Amazon Prime Day [or] they are passing up a huge opportunity."

"Strategically, it is a no-brainer to go head-to-head with the retail juggernaut because, for three years now, shoppers have been systematically 'trained' to not only anticipate the best deals and promotions from Amazon but to also assume they will see the same 'sales frenzy' from other leading retailers come mid-July.

"We've always told our customers they must utilise their omni-channel fulfilment capabilities to create their own Prime Day success stories. Their inventory is literally everywhere, and oftentimes much closer to customers than a large fulfilment centre.

"For example, if I needed a new piece of luggage for an upcoming trip, Amazon may not be the best option for me because it may take longer to ship, and I can likely find the same piece of luggage during Prime Day in the store of my favourite local retailer, buy it online and pick it up in the store that same day".

Amazon has recently announced the launch of Prime Wardrobe, a try-before-you-buy service for its clothing range. 

Offered as a benefit included in Prime membership, it will feature 1m items, including brands outside of Amazon's private labels, such as Adidas, Calvin Klein, Levi's and Hugo Boss. Customers can order clothing, shoes and accessories at no upfront charge, take seven days to decide if they want them, and pay only for what they keep.

Amazon to offer "try before you buy" service