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Amazon Prime Day event now well underway – but has it sparked a wider day of discounts?

Image courtesy of Amazon

This year’s Amazon’s Prime Day event is well underway. It’s now into its second day and scheduled to end at midnight. 

Amazon says the event has more deals available on its sites around the world than ever before. On day one, best-selling categories included hardware, spirits, skin care and devices, and lightning deals continue to drop throughout day two. 

Amazon shoppers can give to charity by shopping through AmazonSmile, and throughout the 48-hour Prime Day event the retailer is doubling its donations. 

Small sellers who sell via Amazon’s platform are reporting a rise in sales. Jos Williams, CEO of GPS tracker seller Ubeequee  says: “As a new seller, Prime Day was very much an unknown quantity for us. We have been delighted to see a huge uptick in sales volume and the strong demand grow through the day, and look forward to a long evening in the warehouse.”

Edge by Ascential has been tracking the brands that are doing well on Amazon. It says: “Most shoppers won’t look past the first page of results. On a typical day, the top three products account for two-thirds (64%) of all clicks. The brands that have invested in boosting their search rankings to take advantage of the spike in traffic today will benefit.” 

In its analysis of which brands have appeared highest in searches, finds, among other categories, that Sony has been winning for headphones, Huawei for laptops and Simba for mattresses.

The wider Amazon effect

In recent years it hasn’t just been Amazon and its own sellers that benefit from the event. Other retailers have often run sale events on the same day. But this year it’s noticeable that many retailers have decided not to take part to the extent that they have in previous years. This could be part of a shift back to full-price strategies as non-essential stores reopen. 

Amazon is one of six retailers ranked Elite in RXUK Top500 research – but only one of the others is running an event that looks like a sale. That retailer is Boots, which features ‘better than Black Friday’ deals alongside a number of three for two offers and more than 1,000 everyday essentials at £2 or less. 

Argos is promoting football, camping essentials, and top tech on its home page. Supermarket Asda focuses on the tastes of summer, while flagging up some ongoing deals. Marks & Spencer is focusing on neutral underwear, summer fashion and comfortable shoes. Finally, Tesco is offering a deal on alcohol on its home page, while promoting its magazine and flagging up new product launches. 

Beyond this year’s Elite, Currys PC World is offering ‘epic deals’ of up to 40% off tech products, and Jigsaw is hosting an up to 50% off sale. Debenhams, now under the ownership of the Boohoo Group is highlighted sales on selected categories – including 50% off duvets and pillows, 25% off fashion and homewares and 10% off beauty products. John Lewis is offering deals on six key categories, including up to 50% off both womenswear and menswear. 

But retailers including Next, Asos and Dunelm look to be staying clear of discounting.

At first glance it seems that fewer deals are on offer this Amazon Prime Day than in the past. If that proves correct, the change may be down to factors including the threatened shortages of goods that we also report on today, triggered by a shortage of HGV drivers and by the increasing complexity of international trade post-Brexit. It could also be that after a year of Covid-19 related discounting, there’s little appetite for more, either from retailers or, perhaps, from shoppers. 

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