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Amazon notches its biggest Prime Day yet

Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

In just four years, Amazon's invented Prime Day has become an event with as much clout as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, analysts report. And while this year got off to a rough start, the event, which ended at 3 a.m. ET Wednesday, was in many ways the biggest one yet.

Why it matters: Amazon uses the event not just to boost sales and reward existing customers, but also to sign up new Prime customers.