Updated May 12, 2022
Amazon Prime Day is Amazon’s annual major sales event that offers Prime members major deals and discounts (called Lightning Deals) on a wide range of products. The major sales event started in 2015 as a celebration of the online retailer’s 20th anniversary. Typically, Prime Day takes place in mid-to-late July, with Amazon announcing the dates to customers just a few days before.
That schedule was thrown for a loop in 2020, however, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced Amazon to move Prime Day to October in light of prioritizing essential items and navigating supply chain issues during the summer months. Last year, Prime Day took place on June 20th and 21st – an earlier time slot than ever.
As you navigate the uncertainty, turn to this blog for the latest news and updates to help your brand prepare to profit from Amazon Prime Day 2022.
Amazon Prime Day confirmed for July
In a Q1 2022 earnings call on April 28th, Amazon confirmed that Prime Day 2022 will take place in July. No further details were provided on when in July the event will take place.
Amazon Prime Day 2022 will take place online in 20 countries, with savings on “products from national brands and small businesses across every category” according to the call.
Amazon also shared updates on Q1 sales, revealing that operating cash flow decreased 41% year-over-year and while net sales increased 7%. Amazon’s net loss in Q1 2022 was $3.8 billion. Amazon referenced inflation and supply chain pressures on the call.
A new benefit for Prime members called Buy with Prime was announced on the call. Buy with Prime will enable members to use Prime benefits like fast and free delivery to shop directly with participating online merchants.
Other announcements from the call include the launch of Amazon Aware, a new brand of apparel, home, and beauty products on Amazon that use recycled or organic materials, as well as updates to View in 3D, a feature that enables shoppers to view a shoe being sold on Amazon at any angle.
The Prime Day Halo Effect
Major retailers like Best Buy, Target, and Walmart have caught onto the fact that Amazon Prime Day is an opportunity for them to drive revenue by offering their own competitive deals. All of these retailers launched major sales last year during the same time period as Prime Day.
The Prime Day halo effect shined in 2021, with 20% of Prime Day shoppers also purchasing from another retailer on Prime Day.
Only 64% of Prime Day shoppers bought solely from Amazon on Prime Day 2021.
Amazon Prime Day 2021 took place on June 21 and 22. Walmart hosted a new sales event called Walmart Deals for Days from June 20-23, with deals focused on kitchen items, vacuums, smart watches, beauty products, and more. Target also hosted a Deal Days event with in-store and online discounts on similar items from June 20-22.
Best Buy hosted a major in-store sales event called The Bigger Deal Savings Event last year from June 15-22 that helped bring a 190% QoQ increase in foot traffic growth. Comparatively, Target was up 20.7% and Walmart was up 8.4% over the same time period.
25% of Prime Day shoppers considered taking advantage of Walmart’s Deals for Days and Target’s Deal Days.
To participate in Prime Day, shoppers must be Amazon Prime members. One benefit that other retailers that host their own sale events during this period have over Amazon is that membership is not required, reducing for customers some of the friction that comes with participating in the sale.
While membership wasn’t required for Walmart’s Deal Days, Walmart did host an online membership-online sales event similar to Prime Day in February 2022. The retailer’s Exclusive Access Event included deals on electronics, kitchen products, furniture, and more.
The Walmart+ membership costs $98 per year or $12.95 per month. Starting in February 2022, Amazon increased its Prime membership cost to $139 per year from $119 or $14.99 per month from $12.99.
Competing retailers like Target, Walmart, and Best Buy have yet to announce details about their competing discounts, but past years suggest that there will be a lot of deals on technology and home items from these retailers during mid-June 2022.
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Key Prime Day deadlines + navigating the supply chain
In an early March 2022 announcement, Amazon shared the following key dates:
- April 29: Deadline to submit a deal for Prime Day consideration
- June 20: Deadline for your shipment of products you’ll be selling on Prime Day to arrive at Amazon fulfillment centers
One of the most crucial components of selling through ecommerce is to make sure you can actually produce and ship the items that your shoppers buy. For Amazon Prime Day, it will be critical to ensure you have the optimal amount of each SKU for Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) by June 20.
In the March announcement, Amazon acknowledged that “due to ongoing global supply chain challenges, it might take longer than usual to ship inventory to fulfillment centers.”
Preparing early will be the key to success for brands that participate in Amazon Prime Day 2022.
Amazon has been investing heavily in delivery airplane fleets since the onset of the pandemic to navigate shipping delays and high ecommerce demand. Amazon flies an average of 187 delivery planes per day and has more than 80 jets, compared to 85 flights and 50 jets in early 2020. On top of that, 73% of US consumers live within 100 miles of an Amazon Air airport compared to 54% in May 2020.
While supply chain woes could pose concerns for Prime Day 2022, if your brand does it right, the event could actually help. Prime Day is a great opportunity for brands to clear out inventory of overstocked products to make room for new product launches or other items that consumers are more interested in buying. It will also be a great opportunity for Amazon to clear out inventory of its own tech products to make room for new ones.
Some brands may hold back on providing huge price drops this year due to supply chain concerns. On top of that, the global chip shortage that’s making production difficult or even impossible for many electronics companies could mean that tech products aren’t as heavily emphasized or discounted this year. Inflation may also mean that prices aren’t as low.
To dive more into the global supply chain strain and its impact on ecommerce brands, visit our article Supply Chain Strain: News & Updates on Shipping, Inventory, & Fulfillment.
Amazon Prime Day 2022: What to Expect
After feeling fluctuations from the coronavirus pandemic, Amazon Prime Day is returning in 2022 to face a transformed ecommerce world. As per usual, Amazon has yet to announce the dates, but CNET, CBS, and TechRadar project a return to the mid-July timeslot that Prime Day took every year until 2020.
Many news outlets predict Amazon Prime Day 2022 will take place on Monday, July 18 and Tuesday, July 19.
Prime Day has transformed significantly in the seven years it’s existed. 2017 was the first year that Amazon Prime Day lasted two days instead of just one. Until 2020, it happened around the same time in mid-July every year. One thing has stayed true: It consistently happens on either a Monday and Tuesday or Tuesday and Wednesday.
What did Prime Day look like in 2021? Prime Day sales reached $11.2 billion last year, up 7.7% from $10.4 billion in 2020 and 56.3% from $7.2 billion in 2019. While Prime Day sales did rise, growth was much less significant than for previous events. In the years before the pandemic, Prime Day sales growth averaged at 68.1% year-over-year. In 2020, that dropped to 45.2%.
Gross merchandise volume (GMV) also grew but at a slower rate than in previous years, up approximately 7% YoY in 2021 compared to 54% in 2020.
Shoppers have also increased the amount of products they buy. Consumers purchased over 250 million items over the course of Amazon Prime Day 2021 compared to 175 million items in 2019.
A huge range of products go on sale during Amazon Prime Day. Health & beauty, consumer electronics, apparel & shoes, and home goods were the top categories during last year’s Prime Day.
Some of the top sellers from 2020 and 2021 include the Echo Dot, Apple products, TVs, vacuums, coffee makers, and sports apparel. Amazon always has significant deals on its own products during Prime Day, including the Fire TV Stick and Kindle. This year, shoppers could also see deals on Amazon’s new Halo View Fitness Tracker.