Amazon’s Prime Day, an excuse for 100 million plus Prime members to binge shop on its sites, just got even bigger and better than at any time in the past. Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) uses the day to bring in billions of dollars and to sell non-Prime members on the benefits of Prime. Amazon already has started to do promotions for products, although the kickoff is still nearly two weeks away.
The colossal e-commerce operation’s management wrote:
Amazon’s highly anticipated annual shopping event, Prime Day will start on July 16 at 12pm PT/3pm ET and will run through July 17. Bigger than ever, Prime Day (and a half) will extend from 30 hours in 2017 to 36 hours, with more than one million deals exclusively for Prime members around the world, plus select deals at all U.S. Whole Foods Market stores. Members in the U.S., U.K., Spain, Mexico, Japan, India, Italy, Germany, France, China, Canada, Belgium, Austria and – new this year – Australia, Singapore, Netherlands and Luxembourg, can shop deals across TVs, smart home, kitchen, grocery, toys, fashion, furniture, appliances and back-to-school supplies and even stock up on everyday essentials. This year, Prime Day will feature double the deals on Amazon devices—and the biggest deals yet on Alexa-enabled products like Echo, Fire TV and Fire tablets, in addition to new categories from home security to Echo devices with screens.
Other than more extended hours, Prime Day can be used to promote Whole Foods, which Amazon did not own a year ago. It can be even more aggressive than ever supporting its Alexa home artificial intelligence service.
Strategically, the day has importance beyond filling Amazon’s coffers. The buyout of Whole Foods and its battle against the largest grocery operations of Walmart and Kroger depend on Amazon’s ability to link its marketing prowess to the food business. Additionally, Amazon is in a battle for streaming media customers, the heart of Prime’s offerings, with Apple, Netflix, Hulu and a host of smaller companies. Amazon’s Alexa voice intelligence business is in competition with Apple and Google. Finally, Amazon makes more money from Prime members than nonmembers. According to some research, Prime members shop at Amazon at more than twice the rate of nonmembers.
Amazon has a lot at stake on Prime Day. The top promotion on Amazon.com’s homepage is to get people ready for the day. Amazon hopes that visitors will shop the same way they binge-watch Amazon Prime shows and movies.