Will the late Prime Day sabotage or catapult holiday spending?
Amazon.com’s Prime Day, which traditionally takes place in July, is expected this year to land in October, possibly jumpstarting or rivaling holiday campaigns.
Indeed, Prime Day may be more popular than key dates during the Christmas selling season. Coresight Research’s weekly survey of U.S. consumers on the coronavirus fallout from August 12 found one-third expecting to buy on Prime Day, well above the one-quarter expecting to buy on Cyber Monday and 16 percent on Black Friday.
Amazon’s sales from the 48-hour Prime Day in July 2019 exceeded its Black Friday and Cyber Monday events combined.
Prime Day, which offers exclusive deals for Prime members, was delayed this year due to challenges Amazon has had filling orders due to the coronavirus crisis.
On its fourth-quarter conference call on July 30, Amazon said the event would take place sometime in the fourth quarter. The week of October 5th is reportedly a “placeholder date,” according to an email sent to third-party sellers obtained by CNBC.
Further COVID-19 outbreaks could push Prime Day into November which could cannibalize holiday sales to a greater degree. Peter Kearns, former Amazon executive and VP of partnerships at Buy Box Experts, told Fox Business that holding Prime Day in early fall would help Amazon “spread out consumer buying” and also “lessen the impact on associates around the holidays.”
In recent years, Amazon’s competitors also took advantage of the hoopla over Prime Day. A YouGov poll last year found Walmart, Target, eBay, Best Buy and Macy’s among the biggest beneficiaries from running special deals on the same dates.
In an article on Forbes.com from Kiri Masters, CEO, Bobsled Marketing, and a RetailWire Braintrust panelist, said she found that some sellers are seeking to avoid investing in Prime Day this year because it’s too close to their holiday plans. However, she believes the event will still offer opportunities to drive sales, acquire new customers and test strategies in a challenging year.
Ms. Masters wrote, “With the risks and unknowns all weighed and considered, the brands who push forward and invest in Prime Day are likely to see a good return — especially if their competitors are sitting this one out.”
- US Survey Update: How Consumers Expect To Shop for the Holidays (Select Findings) – Coresight Research
- Amazon delays Prime Day until October due to coronavirus – CNBC
- Amazon Prime Day is coming in the fourth quarter – CNET
- Amazon Prime Day is coming to the U.S. this year, but ‘later than usual’ – USA Today
- Amazon.com Announces Second Quarter Results – Amazon.com
- Amazon (AMZN) Q2 2020 Earnings Call Transcript – The Motley Fool
- Is Amazon facing a crossroads with the coronavirus pandemic? – RetailWire
- Prime Day paid off for Amazon – but also for Walmart and Target – YouGov
- Amazon Prime Day sales may shrink if it’s too close to Christmas – Fox Business
- How brands are choosing whether or not to invest in Prime Day – Forbes
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How disruptive might Prime Day be to holiday selling, and what difference would an early October vs. November date make? Would you encourage other retailers to run major campaigns around Prime Day or focus on traditional holiday campaigns?