Amazon Prime Day kicks off at 3 p.m. ET on Monday, July 16. For the fourth year in a row, Amazon is offering millions of online deals exclusively to Amazon Prime members. The event lasts for 36 hours and is expected to result in billions of dollars in sales.
The first Amazon Prime Day happened in 2015 as a way to celebrate Amazon’s 20th anniversary, and Prime Day has grown exponentially every year since.
Daniel Ives, the head of research at GBH Insights, predicts that the 2018 Amazon Prime Day will be the most successful event to date, possibly generating as much as $3.6 billion. Ives believes that 70 percent of the items on Amazon’s website will be discounted to some extent. Included in the discounted items will most certainly be Echo speakers and Kindle e-readers. It’s a win-win situation for Amazon; consumers spend money on the Echo or Kindle, then they use those products to purchase more items from Amazon.
Prime Day has become more than a yearly sale for Amazon; it’s also about marketing and publicity.
“[Prime Day] is all about getting more people to sign up for Prime,” Anthony Chukumba, a Loop Capital Markets analyst, told Yahoo Finance. “Are they going to make money? Probably a little bit of money. But they don’t really care either way. It’s about advertising for Amazon, and it’s about Prime, and it’s about getting people to sign up for those free Prime memberships and hopefully getting some of those people to convert to a regular annual membership.”
Amazon’s Prime Day strategy appears to be working. Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder, announced in April that more than 100 million people now subscribe to Amazon Prime.
Not an Amazon Prime member? You can still save big on Prime Day. Several brick-and-mortar stores have offered to match Amazon Prime Day prices. Walmart, Lowes, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, Advance Auto Parts, and Nordstrom all have Prime Day price matching policies. JCPenny will beat Amazon’s prices by five percent, and Target is promoting their one-day online sale, that begins the morning of July 17th, as a “no membership required” sale.