Amazon explained why it’s moving Prime Day up in the calendar this year – and said it had actually intended to do so last year. CFO Brian Olsavsky said Amazon Prime Day will be held by the end of the 2nd quarter, which ends June 30, 2021.
Olsavsky was speaking to Wall Street analysts on Wednesday afternoon after Amazon announced first-quarter earnings.
Historically Amazon Prime Day is held in July. Due to the pandemic, 2020 Prime Day was held in October. This year, Amazon reverted back to its plan to move up the date from July.
An analyst asked the Chief Financial Officer why the change in date. Olsavsky said the Olympics was one factor (Tokyo 2020, which was set to kick off in July last year, was postponed to July of this year, also due to COVID). Another reason: July is a big vacation month, he said, “so it might be better for customers, sellers, and vendors, to experiment with different time periods.”
In his presentation during the call, Olsavsky discussed the annual shopping event:
“Another popular benefit of Prime membership is Prime Day. We’re excited to announce that we will hold the 2-day savings event during the second quarter.
“Prime Day is also a great opportunity for our selling partners to reach more customers.
“We will make supporting small businesses a big focus again this year. We’ll have more to share on Prime Day, including event dates, a bit later this quarter.”
But don’t make assumptions about Prime Day 2022 – Olsavsky called the move to the second-quarter this year a “test.”
Interestingly, Olsavsky also discussed delivery speed, which had been impacted by COVID. Not only was volume a challenge to its 1-day Prime shipping initiative, but so was the “rapid expansion of space” – presumably a reference to the fact that Amazon increased square footage across its fulfillment and logistics network by 50% in 2020, faster than it had intended to.
Feedvisor, a vendor that works with Amazon merchants, published a guide for sellers looking to leverage Prime Day 2021. For example, it said sellers can drive more sales through advertising. For example, during last year’s Prime Day, “those in the Beauty and Personal Care category increased spending by 146% compared to Prime Day 2019. This turned out to be a good investment as they saw a 210% increase in ad sales.”) But it also warned: “The efficacy of advertising on Amazon is leading to higher competition and increasing advertising costs, which is why sellers should have detailed, full-funnel strategies put in place ahead of time,…”