Don’t want to wait until Black Friday in November to get shopping deals? You’re in luck – Amazon has made up a brand new shopping holiday to be held this month.
Amazon declared July 15th “Prime Day,” and it’s vowing to provide more deals that day than it offers on the traditional holiday-shopping bargain day of Black Friday.
In response to a question about whether FBA sellers could participate in offering deals on Prime Day, a spokesperson said absolutely. “Many third party retailers using Fulfillment by Amazon are also participating in Prime Day on July 15 offering more deals than ever before.”
However, we suspected Amazon might only allowing pre-approved sellers to participate. Amazon first allowed third-party merchants into its Deals program in 2013, and EcommerceBytes reported last October on the opening up of the program to more sellers, including information about how to apply.
However, Amazon spokesperson Julie Law responded to our followup with this: “Third party retailers using Fulfillment by Amazon were notified in advance and many will have deals on Prime Day.” For retailers who have suitable items at a quantity and discount to satisfy Amazon, that’s quite significant.
Prime Day coincides with the eve of Amazon’s 20th anniversary. It explained that new and existing members in the U.S. will find deals starting at midnight, with new deals starting as often as every ten minutes. Amazon will host thousands of Lightning Deals and seven popular Deals of the Day.
The Prime Day holiday deals are also available to Prime members in the U.K., Spain, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, Canada, and Austria.
Prime members can shop across dozens of categories including electronics, toys, movies, clothing, patio, lawn and garden, and sports and outdoor items. “Members will enjoy deals on items perfect for summer adventures, their to-do list, family road trips, back to school supplies, and everyday essentials,” Amazon said.
Amazon is not the first ecommerce giant to create its own shopping holiday. Alibaba turned Singles Day in China into a major shopping holiday – interestingly, other retailers embraced the holiday. A chart in this BBC article shows how it began in 2009 and grew to surpass Cyber Monday by 2012.
It’s not clear whether other retailers will embrace Amazon Prime Day, as occurred with Singles Day in China, but if they’re tempted to, they might feel the need to call it by another name so as not to promote a rival’s membership program!
And as for July, it’s actually one of the busiest months of the year for retailers. Kathy Grannis Allen, a spokesperson for the National Retail Federation (NRF), said July is the kickoff to back-to-school season, which is second only to Christmas. “Retail sales in July in 2014, excluding motor vehicles and restaurants was $302 billion, compared to say for example September, when it was about $288 billion in 2014.”
More information about Prime Day is available on the Amazon website, including information about a related photo contest. And note that in the UK, Amazon is offering customers the opportunity to join Amazon Prime before midnight on July 8 for 59 pounds for the first year, a savings of 20 pounds – see Amazon.co.uk/primeday for more details.
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