Amazon.com Inc said on Monday it would hold its annual shopping event, Prime Day, on October 13 and 14.The company earlier this year postponed the two-day shopping event, started in 2015 to drum up sales during the summer shopping lull, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prime Day, as its name implies, is a sale aimed that people who are members of Amazon’s Prime loyalty program, which provides free shipping on a big range of items, access to Amazon’s various streamed media services, and other perks, for a monthly or annual fee. There are some 150 million+ people globally who now take out Prime memberships and Amazon offers free trials for people to sign up so that they can buy during the two-day event.
The event, which is still called “Prime Day” even though it has grown over time to 48 hours, is usually held over the summer as a way of boosting buying activity in what can otherwise be more sluggish shopping months — 2019’s event was in July — but this year, it was postponed because of COVID-19.
That was likely due to multiple reasons. Given that the virus was peaking in the US this summer, having a big sales event might have been a bad look. But in addition to that, the economic impact of the virus has also taken a toll: for many budgets have tightened, and so if consumers are going to take the time to buy big-ticket items, Amazon is possibly banking on them doing that only once this year, during holiday shopping, rather than twice.
By placing its Prime Day event just a month ahead of that period, Amazon is essentially extending out the start time of that period, experimenting with the idea that they might actually get to “own” the whole start to the shopping season.
This year, Amazon is aiming for an early kickstart to the holiday season with the new timing.