By Joyce Yu
Philadelphia, PA–Beginning noon PT (3 p.m. ET) today, the fourth Prime Day, which is running longer for one and half days this year, features a million deals, the most for Prime members than ever before. Amid a lukewarm market condition today, Amazon’s stocks continue its rally to test $1830 level.
Rolled out for the first time in July of 2015, Prime day has been a major event to drive Amazon’s sales revenue. Having achieved $2.41 billion in sales last year, Prime Day’s contribution is even higher than Black Friday. This year is also the first Prime Day with Whole Foods which has recorded nine straight months of 2% to 3% same-store sales growth since the acquisition. The acquisition expanded offerings on Prime Day, promising deals ranging from Echo Dot, to AmazonBasics batteries and cables, to Samsung SSDs, and to foods such as Organic strawberries and Boneless chicken breasts.
Besides serving as a marketing play, the one-day savings event allows Amazon to showcase its own products, attract new members, and deepen existing customer relationship. Right now there are more than 100 million people around the globe on Amazon’s subscription program. More than half of Americans said they lived in a household with Prime, according to a Cowen survey in December.
Called by Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky the “Christmas in July”, Prime Day has become the firing gun for the start of back-to-school shopping, changing terrain of the summer for retailers. Not sitting on their heels, Amazon’s competitors are launching their own marketing campaigns to stay relevant. Walmart has introduced new apps and online tools for back-to-school shopping, as well as deals on school supplies. Target will have its own one-day sale on Tuesday for “everyone—no membership required.”
Search marketing company Captify said during the week leading up to this year’s event, searches for Amazon were up 544% over the previous week, but other online retailers are also benefited from Amazon’s limelight. For instance, searches for Best Buy during the same period grew more than seven times.
“We can see the halo effect Amazon Prime Day has on the retail industry at large,” Dominic Joseph, Captify co-founder and CEO, told CNBC. “The hype created around Prime Day is one of the biggest opportunities and unintended advantages for other retailers get their skin in the game, especially as consumers search for Amazon’s competitors to compare prices and deals.”