Why is Amazon Moving its Prime Day Event?

Power Retail By Power Retail | 05 May 2021

Amazon is changing the date of its annual Prime event, and is likely to be held in June. Although this date is yet to be confirmed, the change is already scratching heads. 

Amazon confirmed it would be shifting its annual event this year and will hold Prime Day a little bit earlier than usual. Usually, the annual sales event is held in July, and while no confirmed dates have been released, the retailer has suggested it would be moved to later in the second quarter. This suggests it would be some time in June.

Amazon Prime currently has more than 200 million worldwide members, the retailer shared. “Members have exclusive access to deals every day and especially during Prime Day, which will take place later in the second quarter,” said the press release.

According to Brian Olsavsky, the Chief Financial Officer of Amazon, this isn’t the first time the retail giant planned to move the date a little ahead of schedule. In fact, last year, Amazon planned to move the sales event a little bit earlier, but the pandemic put a pin in the plans. So instead of the traditional July date last year, the event was held in October.

via Unsplash

Why the Move?

Why is Amazon planning to move its biggest sales event of the year and a traditionally quiet date on the retail calendar? This could be a strategic business move, as Olsavsky explained.

“There’re a number of factors,” said Olsavsky. “It might be better — for customers, sellers and vendors to experiment with a different time period. We experimented the other way … in 2020, by moving it into October. But we believe that it might be better timing later in Q2. So that’s what we’re testing this year,” he said.

Another possible reason behind the shift is the alignment with Father’s Day in the US, which is held on June 21- it’s also quite close to July 4 celebrations. This date could also prompt back-to-school shopping for US shoppers – according to CNBC, this is the second most popular time in the retail calendar.

Amazon reported a revenue increase of 40 percent in the second quarter last year, hitting USD88.91 billion. The second-quarter surge isn’t something new, especially in a COVID landscape. Walmart, Target and other retailers in the US also experienced an uplift in sales in the same period.

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