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Amazon is planning a Prime Day-like sales event next month

Amazon.com Inc. plans to to hold a Prime Day-like sale early next month, according to retailers that sell on Amazon’s marketplace and a consultant who works with Amazon sellers. For now, Amazon remains silent, refusing to confirm or deny the possibility of another big retail event before the holiday season.

Says Minda Wong, Senior Director of Marketing at Monoprice Inc. Retailing consumer electronics, her company will take part in what is currently being marketed as a “Fall Prime Day” event, which it says is expected to run from October 11-12. Monoprice, ranked No. 250 in the 2022 Digital Commerce 360 ​​Top 1000, will be publishing deals similar to those it offered during the last Prime Day promotion of 2022, held July 12-13. If the initial fall date has passed, that means only three months will separate Amazon’s widespread sales events.

Another retailer that sells health and beauty products on Amazon has anonymously acknowledged that it will participate in the Amazon sale this October.

Amazon’s Fall Prime Deal Event

The October event is happening, says Fahim Naeem, Amazon president of Advantage Unified Commerce, an e-commerce consulting agency that works with Amazon sellers.

“Amazon has shared with its sellers and sellers that there is a ‘Prime Deal event,’ which looks like Prime Day,” Naeem told Digital Commerce 360. Based on the deadlines that Amazon shares with retailers using Fulfillment by Amazon. Services, it looks like the event will start on October 11th or possibly October 18th, he adds.

“Several deals, including lightning deals, have already been closed for this event,” says Naim. “But there are some other types of promotions – such as Prime Exclusive Deals – that are still open for submissions for the event.”

Amazon is not confirming the sale

As of now, Amazon won’t comment on the hype about the yet-to-be-announced sales event.

“We do not comment on rumors or speculation,” an Amazon spokesperson said in an email response to a Digital Commerce 360 ​​inquiry earlier this week. When asked about October sale reports from Marketplace and Naim sellers, she reiterated that Amazon’s PR team still had something to share.

Feedback from other sellers

Dion Rodriguez, director of marketing for Pool Supplies Canada, which lists its products on Amazon, says he hadn’t heard of a sales event in October. But he added that the merchant would participate if given the opportunity. Pool Supply Canada ranks 1223 in the 2022 Next 1000 Digital Commerce Index, a ranking of small and medium-sized online retailers.

“We definitely want to take advantage of it because of the slowdown in e-commerce sales volumes this year and the high level of inventory left in our warehouses,” Rodriguez says.

“We’ll likely consider an additional 10% to 25% discount on select items during the sale, similar to what we’ve done during previous Prime sales,” he says. “Maybe even higher, as the majority of our product offerings are now ‘out of season’ because summer is over.”

NorthShore Care Supply, a medical supplies retailer (#767 on the Top 1000 list), which sells through Amazon but didn’t participate in recent Prime Days, is also in the dark. Owner Adam Greenberg says he has not received any information about another large-scale promotion on Amazon that is being scheduled. But even if he had the opportunity, he says he would be reluctant to manage any big sales even if he had excess inventory. The retailer continues to experience supply chain delays, and Greenberg prefers to provide additional inventory to loyal customers when shipments are delayed for months on end.

“Our products are not as seasonal as other retailers and do not expire for five years,” he adds. “So the additional inventory will always be sold at retail at some point in the future.”

But overall, Naim expects a lot of Amazon sellers to be involved in the sale next month.

“Despite the reluctance of some brands, we expect a huge turnout and many brands to participate in the Fall Prime Deal event to get a much-needed boost in initial sales,” he adds.

How many top 1000 retailers sell on Amazon?

Anything that Amazon does has a huge impact on consumers and third-party sellers in its marketplace. The web giant is No. 1 in the Top 1000 and No. 3 in the 2022 Digital Commerce 360 ​​Global Online Markets Report.

More than half – 53.6% – of all the top 1,000 retailers and more than three-quarters – 75.3% – of manufacturers of rated consumer brands list their products on Amazon, making it by far the preferred market channel for the leading online retailers in North America. Only 17.3% sell on eBay Inc. (No. 5 in marketplace rankings), and 11.9% choose Walmart Marketplace (No. 11 in marketplace rankings).

Start shopping online for holidays

Naim and others have reported that they’ve heard that Amazon may call its October event a “Prime Early Access Sale” before Cyber ​​5’s heavily promotional period from Thanksgiving through Cyber ​​Monday. The move and timing — about six weeks before Thanksgiving if the sale begins on October 11 — will allow Amazon to position the event as the start of the holiday shopping season. With consumers increasingly demanding peek-a-boo, weekend-wide deals on the internet, starting earlier and earlier each year, some say the marketing campaign would make sense.

Monoprice sees the upcoming Amazon sale as the start of its holiday promotions.

“We will offer a variety of exclusive discounts on Prime Day to take advantage of early shopping, but the largest number of deals will be during the traditional Black Friday/Cyber ​​Monday shopping period,” says Wong. “We will also be offering a range of discounts on our website that will run for two weeks during the estimated period of peak day in fall.”

Amazon tried a similar strategy in 2020, when its summer Prime Day event was rescheduled for October due to the pandemic, and industry experts predicted it would pull back much of the seasonal spending normally earmarked for the November-December season early in the fall. This wasn’t quite the case.

At the time, more than a third of online shoppers – 38% – in a Post-Prime Day Digital Commerce 360 ​​survey did not complete any holiday shopping during the October 2020 event. Another third – 33% – said less than a quarter of their purchases were on sale They were gifts. So timing doesn’t seem to significantly affect vacation period performance that much.

Inflation likely to be a catalyst for a second peak day

However, holiday shoppers in 2022 are dealing with a different retail climate, with inflation and reports of retailers running large inventory surpluses.

Naim says he believes Amazon is holding the additional event in the fall to provide customers with more deals to “help counter inflationary pressures,” boosting initial sales for brands in a year of modest growth in e-commerce and boosting subscriptions to its prime membership, which stagnated in 2022.

According to Digital Commerce 360’s preliminary pre-holiday survey results of more than 50 retailers, nearly seven in 10 — 69% of retailers — expect higher inflation to cause consumers to buy less overall this season. More than half – 55% – cited rising inflation as a major obstacle to their business heading into the holidays. Respondents also largely expect that consumers will compare shopping more this year.

Shoppers are more likely to expect big discounts during the holidays with surplus stock

And with many retail executives reporting too much inventory in recent earnings calls, surpluses have been making industry headlines lately. One in five – 18% of retailers in a Digital Commerce 360 ​​survey reported having too many products ahead of the holiday, and shoppers took notice. According to more than a quarter – 27% – of retailers surveyed, consumers are expecting more promotions now that they’ve seen news of unwanted items leading up to the big shopping spree.

All of this represented a real pendulum shift from 2021, when the supply chain meant retailers couldn’t keep enough products on shelves and shoppers were grappling with out-of-stock notices during the holidays. Last season, this resulted in a very poor discount because retailers didn’t have to cut prices to entice consumers to buy and get rid of excess inventory at the end of the year.

Michael Gorman contributed to this story.

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