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Amazon Has Big Plans for Livestream Shopping on Prime Day

Less than a week after Bloomberg first reported when Prime Day would kick off, Amazon has officially confirmed that it will host the two-day shopping event on June 21-22.

Prime Day deals will officially begin on June 21 at midnight Pacific Time (3 a.m. Eastern Time) and run through June 22. The e-commerce giant estimates that more than 2 million deals will be available for Prime members within fashion, home, and beauty products, as well as toys, sporting goods, pet supplies, electronics and Amazon devices.

But that doesn’t mean Prime members have to wait until then to start shopping for deals. On Tuesday, Amazon unveiled exclusive offers and deals across categories including essentials, books, electronics, home improvement, kitchen, toys and more. Home shoppers in particular can access deals on select furniture, rugs, home décor and artwork, the company says.

Apparel customers still have to wait for June 21 to access the event’s deals, but can visit Amazon Fashion’s Instagram and TikTok handles for previews of the latest Prime Day deals from clothing, shoes and accessories brands. Amazon is promoting its Prime Wardrobe service by offering $15 savings when first-time customers keep $100 worth of items on their inaugural order from the try-before-you-buy service, which includes a free seven-day try on.

Participating nations in Prime Day 2021 include the U.S., the U.K., the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Spain, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Portugal, Netherlands, Mexico, Luxembourg, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, China, Brazil, Belgium, Austria and Australia. With the announcement, Amazon officially confirmed that it will postpone Prime Day in India, which has struggled amid surging Covid-19 infections, and China.

In bringing Prime Day to June, Amazon has returned the event to the summer after postponing the shopping extravaganza from July to October last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While analysts had speculated that the date was moved to June this year instead of July to help boost year-over-year second-quarter earnings, chief financial officer Brian Olsavsky said during Amazon’s most recent earnings call that the company would hold Prime Day one month earlier since July is typically a busy vacation period.

As usual, Amazon is looking to find new ways to spice the event’s offerings up for its Prime members—which are now 200 million strong—while offering opportunities to third-party sellers.

From June 7-20, Amazon will offer a $10 credit to use on Prime Day to members who spend $10 on select small business products and brands based in the U.S. in Amazon’s store, including products from Amazon Handmade and Amazon Launchpad. Small business promotions will also run in the U.K., Spain, Germany, Italy, France and Japan.

More than 300,000 sellers are eligible for this “Spend $10, Get $10” promotion—more than twice as many as last year, Amazon said. The tech titan has even curated collections on a dedicated online storefront in an effort to connect customers with small businesses at amazon.com/supportsmall. Within the portal, shoppers can browse and buy across collections, including from Black-owned, woman-owned and military family-owned small businesses.

For Prime Day and throughout the rest of 2021, Amazon says it will spend more than $100 million to fuel the success of the small businesses selling on Amazon, including promotional activities to encourage customers to shop with them.

“Prime Day is a celebration of our Prime members, and we’re excited to bring members great deals across an incredible selection, whether members want to shop and save on top brands, buzzworthy items, or small business collections,” said Jamil Ghani, vice president of Amazon Prime. “Since we launched Prime Day in 2015, it’s delivered great new ways to shop, gift, watch movies and TV, and even dance, and we’re excited to carry on that tradition.”

Like Alibaba’s 11.11 Shopping Festival, Amazon is leveraging livestreaming as a commerce avenue before and throughout the event to bring sellers to a different audience. Within the platform, viewers can shop the featured products and brands through a carousel that updates in real time. On June 7, customers can shop alongside celebrities Kristen Bell, Karamo Brown and Mindy Kaling, who will be joined by some of their favorite small business owners to discuss their products and inspiring stories.

Throughout Prime Day, Amazon Live will spotlight deals curated from small businesses across Amazon. Viewers can hear directly from business owners, watch product demonstrations and try-on hauls and shop their Prime Day deals during a reoccurring segment called Small Business Showcase across the two-day event.

Amazon Live includes a live chat option and “deal reveals,” which are exclusive deals that are revealed first via the livestreaming platform. Amazon Live also includes exclusive content such as a sneak peek from Prime Video’s “Making the Cut” fashion-design reality television series.

According to a survey from Jungle Scout, a platform that provides e-commerce data insights to Amazon sellers, 48 percent of 1,000 consumers surveyed say they have shopped on Prime Day before, while 73 percent “will or might” do so this year. Sixty-eight percent of these shoppers have an Amazon Prime account, while 89 percent shop on Amazon at least monthly.

In preparation for the shopping spree, Amazon recently announced that it is hiring for 75,000 new jobs across its fulfillment and transportation networks. Across an unspecified number of locations, Amazon said it would grant new hires signing bonuses of up to $1,000.

The e-commerce giant is delivering some added perks for Prime members throughout the event. For all of June, Prime members can get a $150 Amazon Gift Card instantly upon approval for the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card. Additionally, through June 20, Prime members can get a $10 promotional credit with the purchase of $40 or more in select Prime-branded Amazon gift cards. And for a limited time, U.S. shoppers who sign up for Prime using an Echo device can receive a $5 Amazon credit just by saying, “Alexa, sign me up for Prime.”

Amazon has forecast second-quarter revenue will be between $110 billion and $116 billion, which surpassed Wall Street’s projected $108.6 billion and implies a bump from Prime Day.

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