Amazon is extending its Prime Day event this year, launching discounts to members of its Amazon Prime membership subscription scheme now that run until the event on June 20 and 21. This year’s event will be live in 20 markets and Amazon is promising two million deals across all of its categories, from fashion and beauty to homewares and pet supplies. Amazon’s entertainment businesses, from Prime Video to Amazon Music, are also making a range of offers.
Although the event officially starts on June 21, deals are already available in areas from Kindle to to Amazon Music, while deals on products including Amazon’s own label devices start from June 7.
Amazon, ranked Elite in RXUK Top500 research, also opens up Prime Day to the small and medium-sized businesses that sell on its marketplace. This year it is investing $100m into a Prime Day promotion to encourage shoppers to buy from those businesses.
Amazon UK country manager John Boumphrey says “This Prime Day we’re offering Prime members millions of deals from great brands that we know our customers love. We’re also continuing our support for the small businesses selling on Amazon by running our ‘spend £10 get £10’ offer, which will help thousands of smaller companies in the run up to Prime Day. As a Prime Day first we’re also delighted to be increasing our donations to charity when customers shop through AmazonSmile so there is plenty for everyone this year.”
In recent years, Prime Day has become a key discounting event in the UK retail calendar - with many shopping from other retailers as well as – or instead of – from Amazon. Bazaarvoice questioned its Influenster community and says that one in two of 21,480 UK shoppers taking part in the study plan to buy on Prime Day – although not specifically from Amazon. One in five will be doing so for the first time, with 94% buying for the first time as they look to treat themselves. Some 64% are prioritising the greatest discounts, with more than half (52%) looking for a discount on cosmetics, followed by clothing (42%), homewares (40%) and electricals (39%).
Ed Hill, SVP EMEA at Bazaarvoice, says: “Prime Day has become an increasingly important retail event in the UK, as much for consumers as it is for Amazon’s publicity and profits. Last year, the delayed Prime Day in October resulted in record breaking sales and marked the unofficial start to the Christmas shopping period, but it recent years Amazon is not the only one which has reaped the benefits of the sales extravaganza. More widely, brands and retailers have started to offer sales and heavy discounts of their own during the same time period, attracting shoppers who are already scrolling and spending online. Opportunity has become ripe for companies not named Amazon.
“In fact, just half of consumers said they’re planning to shop specifically from Amazon this Prime Day according to our recent research, with almost a quarter (24%) of consumers planning to shop at a combination of different retailers. Many are electing to decide how much they spend once they see what’s on offer, and almost a quarter leaving their decision to the day of purchase. Consumers are looking to spend their money, but they’re not precious about where or how much – it’s all about finding the right product and the best deal. Brands and retailers need to ensure that their price points, advertising, marketing, and user-generated content (UGC) are all focused and ready to attract and convert customers while they’re in the mood to shop.”
Other brands and retailers have also started to offer their own members-only events. Adidas, for example, is currently running a members’ week and encouraging shoppers to sign up for exclusive offers.
Amazon says that more than 60% of the UK businesses selling on its marketplace are exporters, with export sales of more than £2.75bn last year.
Andy Jefferies, co-founder of Dock and Bay – which sells towels via Amazon as well as direct to customers through its own website – says: “We launched our business through Amazon a couple of years ago. It was so much easier doing it this way, as you have the equivalent of an in-house customer services team, marketing and fulfilment support all in one place. Without Amazon, we would not have been able to grow and export to new markets along the way.
“Prime Day is an important moment for us as it brings new customers to our business and has previously helped to increase sales tenfold. It’s not just the exposure you get during the event – it allows us to grow once Prime Day is over. This year the small business promotion in the run up to Prime Day also means we can deliver more products as the weather warms with more people then talking about Dock & Bay.”