For the first time in its nearly three-decade history, Amazon will hold basically two Prime Days in the same year.
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Prime Day 2.0
Prime Day will take place on July 12-13 this year, as per a recent announcement by Amazon.
However, Insider has reported that the ecommerce giant has been quietly inviting some of its third-party marketplace sellers to participate in what it calls the Prime Fall Deal Event—essentially Prime Day 2.0 in Q4. The invitation, which seems to be somewhat selective as of writing, asks sellers to submit special promotions like Lightning Deals for the event before July 22nd. It also states that the even FBA shipping deadline will be on September 12th.
Amazon has not been clear as to who gets invited and who doesn't. And a of sellers who were invited are frustrated because of the short notice and lack of necessary information regarding the event.
Analysts say Amazon’s lack of transparency does not help sellers make informed decisions, particularly with how to manage inventory during shopping holidays throughout the year. In any case, Amazon’s Prime Day remains the biggest online sales event of the year, making it hard for invited sellers not to opt into a second iteration later in Q4.
Plan B for Amazon
Holding a Prime-Day-esque event later in the year—particularly, a couple of months before the big November holidays (Black Friday-Cyber Monday) and Christmas—could be a way for Amazon to make up for the losses it has reported over the past couple of quarters.
In its Q1 2022 earnings report, the company posted the slowest revenue growth rate for its online retail business in two decades, with its stock having dipped 10% shortly after the announcement. Much of the slowdown has been attributed to a normalizing market after the ecommerce explosion during the pandemic.
A second Prime Day could give Amazon a welcome sales boost to counter its sluggish ecommerce growth rate (down 3% year-over-year per Q1 2022 earnings) and address some of its current issues, such as its ongoing initiative to lease or sublet some of its massive warehouses and to scale back its delivery network due to overcapacity.
Apart from solving some of its issues in the short term, a Prime Day in the fall could also help the ecommerce company entice more customers to sign up for its Prime discount club, which currently boasts over 200 million members worldwide.
As for sellers, shopping holidays like Prime Day has historically been an effective way to launch new products or get some value out of old and hard-to-sell inventory.
Good Precedent or Failed Experiment?
With little historical data available on holding two Prime Day events in a single year, the impact of a Prime Fall Deal Event, which is speculated to be slated for October, to third party sellers still remains to be seen. Whether or not a dual-holiday setup becomes a regular thing for Amazon moving forward will depend largely on the response from shoppers.