Will Amazon’s Prime Day set a new sales record?
For its third annual Prime Day, Amazon is ramping up the excitement to again wallop year-ago levels.
The first Prime Day occurred on July 15, 2015 and appeared to be a one-off occasion to celebrate Amazon’s twentieth anniversary. Proving successful in boosting sales and attracting new Prime members, the retailer ran the event again on July 12, 2016. Adding more than 800 limited-time “Lightning Deals” in the evening, last year’s Prime Day sales rose more than 60 percent and exceeded Amazon’s Cyber Monday sales.
For 2017, Prime Day is set for July 11, but the official start is 9:00 p.m. eastern time on July 10 with new deals promised to arrive as often as every five minutes over the next 30 hours. Said Greg Greeley, VP, Amazon Prime, in a statement, “This year’s Prime Day is too big for 24 hours — so we’re giving Prime members 30 hours to shop!”
With the addition of China, India and Mexico, Prime Day expands to 13 countries. Amazon Books, now comprised of eight physical stores, will participate for the first time.
A few deals on Amazon products — including discounts on Kindle Unlimited, Amazon Music Unlimited and Prime Pantry — started on June 29 when the details for 2017’s Prime Day were revealed. The event will also draw attention to Amazon products with the inclusion of Alexa-exclusive and Amazon Fire deals.
Prime Day helps Amazon drum up sales during the slow summer months, including those of third-party sellers on the platform.
Finally, the event drives Prime memberships as the deals are only available to members. While Amazon earlier this year indicated that it added “tens of millions” of new Prime members in 2016, concerns over Prime’s growth maturing are increasingly heard as its penetration continues. The most recent estimates say at least half of U.S. households have an Amazon Prime membership.
How competitors react will also be watched. Last year, even before its Jet.com purchase, Walmart offered five days of free shipping and deals in an answer to Prime Day.
- Amazon Announces Third Annual Prime Day – 30 Hours, Hundreds of Thousands of Deals on July 11 – Amazon.com
- Amazon will kick off 30 hours of Prime Day deals on the evening of July 10 – CNBC
- Amazon has at least 66 million Prime members but subscriber growth may be slowing – Recode
- Amazon accounts for 43% of US online retail sales – Business Insider
- Sixty-Four Percent Of U.S. Households Have Amazon Prime – Forbes
- Amazon Starts the Clock on Prime Day Hoopla – E-Commerce Times
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What has been the impact of Amazon’s Prime Day? How do you expect Amazon’s retail competitors to respond this year?