Home / Business / Amazon Prime Day evolves from goofy sideshow to black friday-esque phenomenon

Amazon Prime Day evolves from goofy sideshow to black friday-esque phenomenon

Amazon Fulfillment Center

Mike Tetley, a warehouse worker, checks the labels on the boxes in March at an Amazon fulfillment center in Thornton, Colorado.

Helen H. Richardson / The Denver Post via Getty Images

For many people, Amazon's Prime Day debuted in 2015 as a punchline, described as a garage sale for the left-over LED LED toilet lights and its 55-gallon lubricant tanks. The CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, at least for the moment, has the last word.

At the dawn of his fifth year this Monday, First day never seemed stronger or more influential. same Taylor Swift Join the evening at the top of Wednesday's Prime Day concert. And offers (oh, offers!) – a million trinkets and gizmos as far as the eye can see, reduced to the Black Friday price and offered from Paris to Tokyo in Abu Dhabi.

It is now clearly proven that Prime Day has dramatically changed consumer spending behavior and forced other retailers to beat (again) Amazon's pace for fear of missing a rare opportunity to attract buyers. during the reading season on the beach, which is usually slow. On the first day, only seven retailers offered offers. This year, RetailMeNot expects 250 participants to participate, including Walmart, Best Buy, eBay, Target and Macy's.

"Let's face it, Prime Day is one thing – it's as important to US buyers as Black Friday," said Steven Barr, PwC's retail analyst. "So to be competitive, retailers had to come up with bigger, better contracts to get their attention."


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Amazon Prime Day 2019: All you need to know


Prime Day now offers another sign of Amazon's growing retail dominance: The world's largest online store controls nearly 40% of online sales in the US, according to researcher eMarketer. Rival retailers will need to find ways to cope with their ever-faster deliveries, growing assortment and inventive vacations if they want to keep your business. Prime Day also managed to create a shopping day at Christmas in July, long sought by retailers who are desperate to fill the gap between the graduation season and back to school.

For customers, the obvious benefit is that all of these retailers have come together for another big day of shopping to bring in a lot of sales and topple over to encourage you to buy.

"All this competition, whether it's good for other retailers or not, is great for consumers," said Kelsey Sheehy, personal finance expert at NerdWallet.

The game has changed

Amazon announced the first day will run this year for 48 hours beginning at 12:01 pm Pacific Time on Monday. The sale, available to more than 100 million premium members of the company worldwide, declined in mid-July each year, but Amazon changed the subject, which was done as early as July 10 (in 2017) and until the 17th of July. (in 2018).

"We are confident that every Premier member expects a great experience this year," Cem Sibay, Vice President of Prime, told CNET last month.

The day often beats sales records for Amazon and has become so important that it also helps to increase online traffic for other sites. Costco's traffic jumped 27% last year, followed by 22% for Apple and 13% for Best Buy, according to PwC. Amazon saw a bigger increase, at 45%.


Protesters demonstrated outside the Amazon distribution center in Shakopee, Minnesota, in December. Workers plan another strike on Day One.

Kerem Yucel / AFP / Getty Images

While other retailers manage to ride the Prime Day wave, they are still stuck in a game in which their biggest competitor takes the lead and holds an unfair advantage. Amazon dictates the dates, the duration of the sale and, of course, the name of the day.

Prime Day is another example of Amazon that is putting rivals on the defensive and compelling them to spend more money to compete with them, said Jon Reily, executive vice president of retail and trade at Publicis Sapient. He said the company had already done this by raising his minimum wage to $ 15 and offering Expedition of one day, putting more pressure especially on Walmart.

All this attention is not always positive for Amazon. Minnesota workers are plan a strike on the first day of this year to highlight their concerns about working conditions and layoffs. In addition, the union of retail, wholesale and department store, usual criticism of Amazon, has expressed concerns about the overwork of warehouse employees due to the sale longer and faster delivery times.

"This year, the number of Amazon workers will be much worse," union president Stuart Appelbaum said in a statement.

Competing retailers are also seeking to point out Amazon's weaknesses in attracting buyers, for example by pointing out that Prime Day is only available to those who pay for Prime, a subscription of $ 119 a year. Others point out the ability to pick up in the stores and not wait for deliveries. eBay stings on Amazon by offering a "Crash Sale", noting that Amazon 's website and mobile application have faded for hours at the start of Prime Day last year.

"It would be silly for other retailers, considering what Prime Day has become, not to try to get a share of this cake," Sheehy said.

Consumers have also changed their shopping habits because of the Prime Day Day, Barr said. According to a PwC survey, the anticipation of Prime Day offers led 52% of buyers to wait until then to make purchases. In addition, research from the consulting firm revealed that spending on back to school and vacations had been put on the schedule as more and more people buy Prime Day, he added.

Experts say these deals can be a boon for disciplined shoppers and people waiting to buy expensive items that are usually on sale during Day One, like TVs. But these sales are also likely to encourage many impulse buys, as people are looking for incredible offers for Instapots, Fingerling toys and organic whole chickens without antibiotics, chilled to the tune of Whole Foods.

Sheehy explained that she had bought resistance bands for exercise during some past days, which were still in their packaging. At least they were really cheap.

"It definitely makes people buy more products that they do not really need," said Reily.

Do not stop shopping

So, will the Prime Day last? Well, it depends on who you ask.

"I would be really surprised that Prime Day disappears," said Sheehy of NerdWallet. "It's a huge selling day for Amazon."

Mr. Barr agreed that Prime Day was now part of the consumer spending schedule, as was the holiday and back-to-school season, ensuring its existence as a buying institution in the near future. .

Reily, however, had a different perspective. The first day, he said, only exists during good economic times, with low unemployment, rising wages and a rising stock market. And even during these good times, Amazon continues to add other elements to Prime Day – like this Taylor Swift concert – to maintain public attention, he said.

Will people still want to open their wallets for a well-prepared shopping vacation during the next recession? Reily doubts.

"Over a longer period," he said, "it's not sustainable."

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