Amazon Works SMBs Into Prime Day Events

Now that Amazon has officially confirmed Prime Day for Oct. 13 and 14, consumer perception of the event as a holiday shopping kickoff remains to be seen. New research from Retail Me Not suggests it could be the official gateway to fourth quarter sales. In a survey of 3,000 shoppers, the online fashion retailer says Prime Day is expected to be the No. 1 shopping day in Q4, with 67 percent planning to make a purchase during the event. Prime Day will be followed by Cyber Monday (65 percent purchase intent) and Black Friday (59 percent).

Amazon’s official announcement of Prime Day came with at least one unexpected element, and that was its boost to small businesses. Starting immediately through October 12, Amazon will offer Prime members a $10 credit to use on Prime Day when members spend at least $10 on select small businesses in Amazon’s store. The company also says it will spend more than $100 million on promotions to help small businesses increase sales and reach new customers.

“In the midst of an unprecedented year, we’re committed to making this the most successful Prime Day ever for our small businesses and excited for Prime members worldwide to discover new ways to support local entrepreneurs and save big on everything they need and love,” said Jeff Wilke, CEO of Worldwide Consumer at Amazon. “This year’s Prime Day is the perfect opportunity for Prime members to get their holiday shopping done early from the comfort of their homes — and to have more time to spend with their families and friends throughout the season.”

“In such an unsettled economy, we’ve actually been able to grow our sales with Amazon, allowing us to pay our employees more and pivot quickly when supply chain shortages struck,” said Colleen Sundlie, owner of Date Lady in Springfield, MO. “Selling online has helped us stay connected with customers and continue growing our small business despite the challenging times.”

Predictably, Amazon is extending promotions and discounts on the various new devices including Echo and Fire TVs. Amazon is working Amazon Fresh into the mix this year, offering $15 off Prime members’ first order topping $50 for the service. It’s also working its fashion division with discounts for several brands including Vineyard Vines, ASTR the Label, Splendid, Alo Yoga, Calvin Klein, Dress the Population, 4SI3NNA and Black Halo dresses.

According to Tech Crunch, Amazon’s impact on wider shopping patterns has already been proven.

“Last year, some 250 other online retailers, competitors to Amazon, set up promotional events to coincide with Prime Day, taking advantage of people being online and ready to buy things, and trying to make sure they are not cut out of the spending sprees,” it says. “Yet it’s not a sure thing, in the current climate. Even though Amazon, like a lot of other online retailers, has been raking in the sales as more people have turned away from physical stores to comply with social distancing rules, the longer-term picture has been less sure. The job market is not strong, and people are watching their wallets.”