- Amazon’s Prime Day will focus heavily on its small business sellers, which could help the etailer bolster sales.
- But it will also have to compete with Target’s and Walmart’s coinciding online sales events.
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After being postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the etailer’s annual sales event will take place on October 13 and 14 with a heavier emphasis on small business sellers and advance deals.
Amazon said it’s investing $100 million on promotional initiatives for its small business sellers: It plans to offer Prime members a $10 credit for any Prime Day purchase when they spend $10 at select small business stores on its platform, and also plans to highlight and curate small-business collections on its platform throughout the sales event.
Leading up to Prime Day, Amazon is offering deals across a number of its product categories and select private-label products. The news comes as competitors Target and Walmart announce similar online sales events coinciding with Prime Day.
Amazon’s small business push ahead of the holiday season may enable it to cash in big on Prime Day. Amazon said it sold over 175 million items during last year’s sales event. It hopes to replicate that this year, especially since the heavier focus on online shopping during the pandemic helped it bring in $45.90 billion in global online net sales in Q2. Scheduling Prime Day so close to the holidays—retail’s biggest sales season—could surge Amazon’s Q4 sales volume since consumers may look to do their gift shopping online to avoid going in-store, while also taking advantage of the sales.
And with 66% of shoppers planning to shop locally this year, per a Google study, the etailer’s small business promotions could help it draw in consumers looking to support sellers heavily impacted by the pandemic, in turn fueling its overall sales push. Further, as the brand looks to expand its marketplace, the incentives might attract more sellers to its platform too.
But Amazon may face competitive challenges since Target and Walmart have launched coinciding online sales events. Target’s annual Deal Days includes online deals, curbside pickup, and same-day delivery for most products. Walmart says its sales event will run from October 11–15 and offer online deals with equally fast delivery. Countering Prime Day is a strategy retailers have used in the past to mixed results, but the various deals could push customers to shop around to find the best offers.
That’s especially true because Amazon experienced severe delivery delays at the height of the pandemic that eroded its market share—a challenge that Target and Walmart easily sidestepped because of their ability to use retail locations as distribution centers. Fast delivery and flexible pickup might be a key component of consumer purchases during the sales events, which could create bigger competitive challenges for Amazon this year than in the past.
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