June 28, 2017
By Julia Ennis
With the official start of the summer season behind us, we all have the upcoming Fourth of July holiday and Back to School season already on our minds. However, there is an unofficial holiday on the horizon that you should mark on your calendars when strategizing for the season: Amazon Prime Day.
It’s like Cyber Monday…On a Tuesday…In July
Think of Prime Day as Amazon’s mid-year Black Friday. Since 2015, the company has been appointing a day in July (typically the second Tuesday of the month) to be a 24-hour period of unprecedented deals on thousands of items on the site. Deals range across categories; however, based on the two previous Prime Days, you can expect the most popular deals to be on electronics like TVs and headphones, home products like slow cookers, and Amazon’s own products, including Fire TVs, Echos, and Kindles.
Who Is Prime Day For?
In short: Prime Day is for Amazon Prime Members. Most of the deals are exclusives for Amazon customers who subscribe to a Prime Membership, which boasts features like free 2-day shipping and access to content streaming. Prime day benefits Amazon in two ways: first, it retargets existing Prime members, who, studies show, are more likely to shop frequently and spend more money on Amazon than non-Prime members. Second, publicity leading up to Prime Day encourages non-Prime members to convert, so they too have access to the deals.
Prime Day also targets customers in a different mindset than Black Friday or Cyber Monday shoppers: during the holiday season, most customers shop and deal hunt with gift-giving on the brain. On Prime Day, however, customers are typically looking to shop for themselves rather than others.
How Will Prime Day Be Different This Year?
For starters, it might not even be a day. Rumor has it that Prime Day this year may last 30 hours instead of 24, or even transform into Prime Week, where different deals are spread out over 5-7 days. This is all conjecture, though, because Amazon has not confirmed anything about Prime Day 2017, beyond that it is happening.
Sizing Up the Competition
Amazon is likely keeping the details of Prime Day 2017 under wraps in order to limit the competition they may face. On the two previous Prime Days, major players in the eCommerce space attempted to compete with Amazon by launching their own deals around the same time. Last year Walmart offered free shipping during the week of Prime Day, and updated their prices to match Amazon’s. The Gap gave everyone 40% off their purchase, in addition to positing sales up to 60% off. NewEgg launched special discounts on their electronics the day before Prime Day. Nordstrom simply pushed their long-running Annual Sale back a week to overlap with Prime Day.
Little has been said by these companies yet about their strategies for competing with Prime Day this year, but we expect many to take the route that Best Buy did last year: reminding you that they have great deals year round, and that, unlike Amazon, you do not need any special memberships to access those deals.