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PEAK 2022 Earlier than ever start to peak trading as Amazon launches Prime early access sale

Image: Fotolia

An earlier than ever Black Friday event is now underway in the form of Amazon’s second annual event for Prime members. The two-day Prime early access sale runs until tomorrow, promising pre-Christmas discounts on goods from electronics, home and kitchenwares to fashion and toys. 

The event also marks a wider move to bring forward the start of peak trading. When the event was first announced, at the end of September, John Boumphrey, UK country manager of Amazon, said it represented an opportunity “to start shopping some of the season’s top deals before anyone else”. He added: “With fewer than 90 days until Christmas, it’s not too early to start planning your shopping for the festive season ahead, and this exclusive 48-hour sales event will help people save money and shop smarter as we head into the festive season.”

The event falls six weeks ahead of Black Friday, and is timed to offer shoppers discounts in a cost-of-living crisis. It is a month earlier than Singles Day, the Chinese market event that was previously seen as signalling the start of peak trading. Amazon is far from the only retailer to be running a sale today, with discounts now on offer at sites from Currys to John Lewis, M&S, Jigsaw, Debenhams and more.

Andrew Busby, retail industry lead at Software AG, says the event already seems to be a success on Amazon’s own terms. “Amazon’s Prime Early Access Sale has caught the attention of its customers, proving that this was the exact right business move for the company. By extending the sales period and providing a sneak peek at the top deals that will be going live, it is spreading the cost of the holiday season while consumers still have spending power, and flattening the peak in demand.

“By levelling out spikes in demand, Amazon is in a better position to predict and respond to consumer behaviours, while lowering impacts on supply chains amid ongoing disruption. It’s what consumers need as we approach the festive period; reliability and communication – and Amazon is delivering just that.”

Last Christmas there were reports of shoppers bringing Christmas spending forward to October in order to ensure their purchases arrived in time for Christmas amid widespread supply chain issues that were then affecting the market. Analysis published in August by’s DataFeedWatch found that even then more than a quarter of products advertised on paid online channels were already on sale.

Early Black Friday trend

This year, the Amazon event is one example of an “early Black Friday trend” at a time of “continued uncertainty in the economy,” says Nick Delis, senior VP of international and strategic business at Five9.

Delis warns: “Extended sales periods may entice people to shop more, but retailers must also be prepared for high return rates and an influx of calls into customer service agents… Businesses need to focus on providing a human connection across every touchpoint. It’s essential to get customer service right, or they risk paying the price.”

Amazon will be first port of call for 62% of UK shoppers ahead of Christmas, according to ChannelAdvisor’s 2022 Online Consumer Behaviour Global Report. However, it suggests, Amazon won’t be shoppers’ only stop, with 40% heading to Google, 38% to brand websites and 18% to other marketplaces.

Amazon is ranked Elite in RXUK Top500 research.

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