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Prime Day set to be a one-off success, rather than a long-term gamechanger

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Analysts predict a successful eve-of-birthday Prime Day celebration for Amazon as it marks its 20th anniversary this week.

Tomorrow’s Prime Day will see discounts on offer to members of its Prime subscription scheme. Amazon is the largest online retailer in the UK, where it says it will offer more than double the number of offers that were available last Black Friday. Membership of that scheme has also been available at a £20 discount to the regular £79 annual cost in the run up to the event.

Forrester’s Sucharita Mulpuru predicts a successful day, but says the one-off day of discounting is unlikely to make a large financial difference to the business.

"Beyond a bona fide anniversary celebration, it's hard to be too cynical about Amazon's Prime Day," she said. "Amazon rarely, if ever, does promotions like this – and given it's only one day, and only available to Prime members, purportedly on a finite number of items – it is unlikely to make too huge of a impact on the business. Why? Because Amazon is so big it would have to do something even more drastic for one day to make a huge difference."

Meanwhile industry commentators say the event will put Amazon’s systems to the test.

Neil Kinson, VP EMEA at Redwood Software, says the sale “will be a true test for the age of rapid customer-demand.”

“Consumers now want their goods delivered at the touch of a button - and speed is increasingly becoming the key to customer satisfaction,” he said. “The Amazon servers must be equipped to deal with the inevitable surge in online activity, and the vast amount of data being transferred. This will be a real test of ecommerce infrastructure resilience. As long as the retail giant has back-office processes in place to deal with the increase in website traffic, customers will be happy with the service they receive now, and for future sales to come.”

Kevin Dallas, chief product officer at Worldpay ecommerce, said “Twenty years after first setting up shop online it’s fair to say Amazon.com has lived up to its name. Much like the world’s largest river, millions of people have come to rely on the ecommerce giant for the steady flow of an almost unfathomable volume of goods.”

“Online shopping has come a long way since 1995, but if there’s one thing that has underpinned the success of ecommerce over the years it’s been the pursuit of uncompromising convenience for customers. People have come to expect they can pay for goods how they want to, whether by credit card or an alternative payment method, and that their purchase will be as easy as ordering an Uber or streaming their favourite song has become.”

“With so much choice available to them, customers are developing less patience for glitches or delays. They expect a hassle-free experience from the second they visit an e-retailer’s homepage to the moment their package is finally delivered, and online players need to sharpen up their entire purchasing journey to deliver on these expectations."

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