Amazon has announced that Prime Day, its annual sales holiday for Prime subscribers, will run for 48 hours spanning July 15-16.
Business Insider Intelligence
This will be the longest edition of the event — Prime Day 2018 lasted 36 hours — and is set to include over 1 million deals and thousands of new product launches as the e-tailer tries to reassert its e-commerce dominance and attract more Prime subscribers.
Here’s what it means: With Prime Day’s dates announced, competing e-tailers now know exactly what days they should target to capitalize on Amazon’s sales holiday.
- Non-Amazon retailers offered promotions surrounding Prime Day 2018 to great success, establishing that Prime Day isn’t confined to Amazon. Retailers like Walmart, Target, and eBay ran discounts and deals around Prime Day 2018, leading to 40% of Prime Day participants shopping with non-Amazon retail options: Target even posted its best day of traffic and sales up to that point in 2018 on Prime Day. This development may have been helped by tech issues that caused outages on Amazon’s site and app during the event. Amazon still performed well over its sales holiday, but other retailers have clearly co-opted Prime Day, with their performances likely buoyed by the fact that their deals don’t require a paid subscription like Amazon’s do.
- Prime members are going into Prime Day 2019 planning to shop non-Amazon retailers, presenting these players with a golden opportunity. More than one-third (34%) of US Prime subscribers who plan to shop on Prime Day intend to shop for deals with non-Amazon e-tailers during the event, and 17% will even look for deals in physical stores, according to a report from Profitero. With consumers ready to look beyond Amazon, retailers must be prepared to offer exciting deals and promotions on Prime Day and in the days before the event to win greater sales volume. And they must be ready to handle increased traffic to avoid the issues Amazon faced last year, which can hurt conversion and restrict sales.
The bigger picture: Although Prime Day has become more than just an Amazon holiday, the e-tailer may be planning to use one-day delivery as a differentiating factor — this tactic may not be most important to winning sales, though.
Prime Day should allow Amazon to showcase its move from Prime free two-day shipping to free one-day shipping. This level of speed is difficult to match for competitors, and Amazon will likely try to highlight this strength by offering deals on items that are set up for one-day shipping. Doing so could help Amazon’s Prime Day offerings stand out from its competitors’.
But 53% of US consumers who shop during "Black Friday in July" — the period surrounding Prime Day — say price is the No. 1 factor they consider when making a purchase, according to a study from Bazaarvoice. So, the success of Amazon and its competitors on Prime Day may come down to who offers the best deals — without experiencing any outages due to high traffic — while fulfillment and other added value may be less impactful.
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