An Amazon Prime Primer: Recap of Last Year and What to Expect This YearAmazon turned 20 last year and Prime members all over the world gathered online for 24 hours and purchased 34.4 million items in celebration. Featuring sales akin to those found on Black Friday, Amazon enticed many people to subscribe to its Prime service for these exclusive deals.
This year, a similar scene is shaping up for the "biggest global Amazon event ever." Three types of deals will be featured:
- Spotlight deals - the best deals of the day featuring deep discounts that last until the stock runs out
- Lightning deals - these sales will be featured for a limited amount of time, indicated by a timer, and have a status bar of how many items have been claimed
- Savings and sales - these will run all day and discounts will be applied at checkout
Amazon has been offering deals in the days leading up to Prime Day, which officially started at 3am ET this morning. With new deals appearing as frequently as every five minutes, Prime members will be able to track the deals on Amazon’s shopping app. The app is available on the App Store and on Google Play and shoppers can choose which deals they want to "watch" to get notified when it goes live. (You can watch the tutorial video here.) The app and its notifications are a prime example (get it?) of how mobile is increasingly becoming a crucial and undeniable part of a customer's shopping experience.
In response to last year, Amazon has deepened inventory and widened variety to more than 100,000 deals. One of the featured deals will bean attempt to encourage Prime members to buy and use the Echo device. By using the voice-command feature, Alexa, to order a Prime deal, the shopper will receive $10 off of the first purchase of $20 or more. Lastly, Amazon has specifically made a point to mention that a sale that does not appeal to one shopper may be perfect for another, so shoppers should still expect some unusual sales.
The competition is determined not to let Prime Day take over this year, with some retailers beginning sales over the weekend. Walmart is offering free shipping (no membership required) all week and has announced many “rollbacks” for this week in areas of high competition with Amazon, such as technology and electronics. They also won’t miss this chance to feature their “ShippingPass” program, a $49 annual pass for free unlimited two-day shipping to rival Prime. Many other retailers including Target, Gap, Banana Republic, The Limited, Bealls, J.C. Penney, Toys R Us, Sears, and Kohl’s are offering large discounts as well. Best Buy took an obvious swipe at Prime Day by announcing it is offering “Deals for All. No Membership Needed.”
Anticipation will continue to build as many people will sign up for free Prime trials to take advantage of the sales and members will set their alarm clocks for the long-awaited 3am unveiling. We will be live-tweeting throughout the day to keep you updated on the retail landscape as we keep our #EyesOnPrime!