The e-commerce giant notified employees about the dates and asked them to keep the information confidential until an official announcement in the coming days, according to records reviewed by Bloomberg.
Amazon would not comment on the matter.
The annual event is designed to drum up sales and attract and retain subscribers to its popular Amazon Prime service, which now tops 200 million members. Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) data shows that in the U.S. alone, Amazon added 30 million members throughout 2020.
In fact, Prime Day has practically been a bona fide part of consumers’ shopping holidays. According to a survey from Jungle Scout, a platform that provides e-commerce data insights to Amazon sellers, 48 percent say they have shopped on Prime Day before, while 73 percent “will or might” do so this year.
Of the 1,000 consumers surveyed, 68 percent have an Amazon Prime account, while 89 percent shop on Amazon at least monthly. Where Amazon holds an advantage, especially during an event driven by discounts and deals, is that consumers are primed to spend. Fifty-eight percent of shoppers say would spend over $100 for a product on Amazon, the Jungle Scout survey said.
Amazon held Prime Day in July every year from its inception in 2015, when it was just a one-day event, all the way through 2019. When the Covid-19 pandemic struck, the e-commerce giant moved the two-day shopping spree to Oct. 13-14 last year in a move that effectively forced retailers to push their holiday planning month earlier.
The Amazon effect worked, with retail sales jumping 10.6 percent year over year in October 2020, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).
And for Amazon itself, the event helped the online retailer surpass $100 billion in quarterly sales for the first time, a 44 percent year-over-year increase to $125.6 billion. While the company doesn’t reveal detailed sales generated from the event, JP Morgan analysts projected that it brought in $7.5 billion, a 42 percent uptick over 2019’s $5.3 billion.
Of the few details that did emerge, third-party sellers officially reeled in more than $3.5 billion in Prime Day sales, a nearly 60 percent bump over 2019 totals. Thirty-four percent of sellers said that Prime Day being moved to October in 2020 effectively started the holiday shopping season, according to the Jungle Scout survey.
It seems to be a mixed bag as far as when sellers actually want to host Prime Day—17 percent of the more than 4,800 sellers surveyed say they prefer Amazon Prime Day in October over July. Alternatively, 21 percent of sellers prefer Prime Day in July, while the rest don’t have a preference.
While Amazon has never explained why it didn’t move Prime Day back to July, analysts have surmised that it could be to give the second quarter a financial boost. In last year’s second quarter, Amazon saw $5 billion in profit and $88.9 billion in sales as non-essential stores remained shuttered through most of the period. Additionally, the company may want to get Prime Day underway before more people feel comfortable returning to stores.
Jungle Scout chief marketing officer Mike Scheschuk even suggested that the possibility of Amazon hosting a second Prime Day this year in October isn’t out of the question. Prime Day “could eventually become a quarterly event,” if a second Prime Day is successful, Scheschuk said.
While Prime Day is a global event, shoppers in two countries will be unable to participate due to rising Covid-19 cases this year. Amazon paused the event in India and Canada, and has yet to announce a rescheduled date for either country, according to news reports.
As Prime Day comes up, Amazon did release its Prime Day Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) inventory cutoff deadlines for 2021, so sellers must prepare accordingly as to prevent stockouts. Sellers in the U.S. would have a deadline to make sure their inventory shipments reach Amazon’s fulfillment centers before May 31, while Australia and Mexico have a June 1 cutoff. Sellers in European countries such as the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and Turkey have until June 6, while those in the U.A.E and Saudi Arabia are cut off June 7. Finally, sellers in Japan can cut it closest to the actual event at June 13.