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Why Amazon’s October Prime Day is likely to mark the start of peak trading online

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Amazon has named the date for its annual Prime Day event. 

The two-day event, which offers deals to Amazon Prime subscribers, will start at midnight on Tuesday October 13 and end at midnight on October 14. The event is usually held in July but this year appears to have been delayed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Instead of marking the start of the summer sales, as it has in recent years, Prime Day 2020 is instead likely to kickstart peak trading in a year when very high levels of online shopping are already expected. 

IMRG’s Andy Mulcahy last week warned internet shoppers to start buying early ahead of “very excessive” demand expected this year. Black Friday will this year fall on November 27. That used to mark the start of the peak trading, but in recent years Christmas deals have been on offer as early as October. Prime Day has also caused a buzz in recent years that has benefited other retailers – as long as those other retailers are prepared to offer discounts – at the same time. This year could well follow suit. At the same time, analysis in 2019 found that shoppers seemed to be holding off buying ahead of the event.

In 2019, Amazon said that shoppers from 18 countries bought more than 175m items through its websites during its Prime Day. This year, Amazon Prime Day will run in 19 markets including the UK and, for the first time, Turkey and Brazil. It will offer deals in categories from toys and electronics through to kitchen and homewares and Amazon’s own-label devices, and from brands including Lego, Nintendo, Sony and Le Creuset. 

Small business effect

Amazon, ranked Elite in RXUK Top500 research, says it will invest more than £75m in promotional activities to help small businesses increase their sales and reach new customers. Tens of thousands of UK small and medium-sized businesses currently sell via Amazon, with more than 60% exporting their goods. In 2019, that added up to export sales of more than £2.75bn which, says Amazon, supported more than 85,000 job opportunities in the UK. 

During the year, the Amazon Small Business Accelerator launched in partnership with Enterprise Nation to help small businesses respond to the impact of the pandemic and lockdown. 

Doug Gurr, Amazon UK country manager, said: “After a tough six months for everyone we’re committed to making this the most successful Prime Day ever for small businesses, and excited for members to discover the very. Pst from artisans and entrepreneurs in the UK, whilst saving big on everything they need and love from the comfort of their homes.”

Lavinia Davolio, founder of Lavolio Boutique Confectionery in London, said: “As a small business owner Prime Day is an extraordinary opportunity to reach many new customers, encouraging them to try our handmade confectionery for the first time. We simply don’t have enough space and people to pack all the boxes to fulfil the increased level of customer demand, so for peak moments like Amazon Prime Day, Christmas or Mother’s Day, Fulfilment by Amazon is pivotal and enables us to scale.” 

On Prime Day, shoppers will be able to buy from Amazon via a range of channels, including the Amazon app, via its Alexa voice assistant, its charity website AmazonSmile and for delivery via contactless click and collect through the Amazon Hub as well as via traditional delivery. 

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