4 Big Things to Know About Amazon Prime Day This Year

Amazon Prime Day is returning for another year.

The annual shopping extravaganza, which launched six years ago, has historically brought about major discounts and markdowns on merchandise from brand names like Adidas, Calvin Klein, Levi’s, Superga and Under Armour.

This year, the event will coincide with the expected exit from a pandemic-plagued year, with fiscal stimulus and pent-up demand likely to boost sales. Here, four big things you need to know about 2021’s Prime Day.

When is Prime Day?

Since debuting in 2015, Prime Day has occurred in July. However, last year, as the COVID-19 health crisis took hold, the e-commerce behemoth delayed the event until October. It marked the first time Prime Day took place in the company’s fourth quarter, which also includes two of the year’s biggest shopping days, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, as well as served as the unofficial kickoff to the holiday shopping season. (Big-box rivals Walmart and Target also launched their respective Big Save and Deal Days events to compete.)

Late last week, in the retailer’s first-quarter earnings conference call with analysts, SVP and CFO Brian Olsavsky confirmed that Prime Day will occur in the second quarter. This three-month period starts in April and ends on the last day of June, which would make the event earlier than it has ever been for Amazon.

“Prime Day is also a great opportunity for our selling partners to reach more customers and will make supporting small businesses a big focus again this year,” Olsavsky said. He added that the date change was made due to “a number of factors,” including the Olympics, which was initially slated for summer 2020 but has been postponed to July this year. “July is a big vacation month,” he added. “It might be better … for customers, sellers and vendors to experiment with a different time period. We experimented the other way, obviously, in 2020 by moving it into October, but we believe that it might be a better timing later in Q2, so that’s what we’re testing this year.”

The official event date is expected to be confirmed later in the quarter.

How long will it last?

In the conference call, Olsavsky shared that Prime Day would span two days.

Last year, shoppers across the United States were able to take advantage of the 48-hour event, as well as those in countries including the United Kingdom, Mexico, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, the United Arab Emirates, Spain, Singapore, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Canada, Australia and China. Consumers in Turkey and Brazil were also invited to participate for the first time in 2020.

What deals will be offered?

Shoppers will be able to score deals on items across several categories including apparel and footwear, with the sales on tech and electronics often serving as the event’s main attraction.

Do you have to be a Prime member to shop the deals?

Only Prime members are able to unlock Prime Day deals. Amazon is offering a 30-day free trial to those who have never signed up for a membership, which costs $12.99 a month or $119 per year. For students with valid .edu emails, the online giant has Amazon Prime Student, which is available at a discounted rate of $6.49 every month. It also provides membership at a more affordable rate of $5.99 each month for people with Medicaid or EBT.

Visit the Amazon Prime Day landing page here to stay up to date on developments as well as sign up for a Prime membership.

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