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Amazon says Prime Day will rival Black Friday for deals

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Amazon (irdx ramz] is marking two decades in business with what it bills a “global shopping event”: Prime Day. It says the Prime members-only event, which comes on the eve of its 20th birthday, will offer more deals than Black Friday.

In what amounts to a huge push to encourage more customers to join the subscription scheme, it’s also offering £20 off the annual £79 membership fee for UK shoppers.

The company promises members in the UK, US, Spain, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, Canada and Austria deals from midnight on July 15, with new offers launched as often as every ten minutes.

“Prime Day is a one-day only event filled with more deals than Black Friday, exclusively for Prime members around the globe. Members tell us every day how much they love Prime and we will keep making it better,” said Greg Greeley, vice president, Amazon Prime. “If you’re not already a Prime member, you’ll want to join so you don’t miss out on one of the biggest deals extravaganzas in the world.

Christopher North, managing director at Amazon UK, said: “We’re offering Prime members thousands of deals on Prime Day. In fact, in the UK we are offering more than double the number of deals that we offered last Black Friday.

“Prime started as a One-Day Delivery benefit on a few million items back in 2007. Since then we’ve increased selection to 10 million eligible items for fast Prime delivery and added unlimited streaming movies and TV episodes, unlimited cloud photo storage, access to 800,000 Kindle books and just last week we launched one-hour delivery exclusively for Prime members in selected London postcodes. Prime Day is the latest benefit for Prime members and you can expect us to add further benefits and features to this great service over time.”

Keith Anderson, VP, strategy and insight at Profitero, says the launch of Prime Now in the UK demonstrates Amazon’s “escalating commitment” to selling every day essentials and fast-moving consumer goodds. It may also, he says, signal the potential rollout of programmes such as Amazon Prime Pantry and Amazon Fresh groceries services.

“The programmes are key extension of Amazon’s growth ‘flywheel’ that emphasizes competing aggressively on price, selection, and convenience,” said Anderson. “Along with the new programs, the upcoming Prime Day promotion is a carefully timed international effort to spike Prime awareness and membership leading into the critical back to school season.”

Our view: The ultimate aim of Prime Day is to encourage more people to join the Amazon Prime membership club – paying an annual fee in exchange for benefits including free delivery, Amazon Instant Video, and, now, exclusive discount days. Once signed up, shoppers will no doubt tend to use Amazon’s services ahead of other websites. As the company adds still more scale, it will become ever more difficult for rival websites to outpace Amazon. Rather they’ll have to find their advantages in other areas, whether that’s a niche understanding of the products they sell or specialist attention through customer service.

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