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.)

Early May, in the retailer’s first-quarter earnings conference call with analysts, SVP and CFO Brian Olsavsky revealed 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.

Today, Amazon confirmed that Prime Day will take place on June 21 and 22 in a kickoff to the summer. Early deals and promotions, however, are already underway.

“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 last month in the conference call. 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.”

How long will it last?

In the conference call, Olsavsky shared that Prime Day would span two days — from midnight PT on June 21 through June 22.

Shoppers across the United States were able to take advantage of the 48-hour event, as well as those in the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Spain, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Portugal, Netherlands, Mexico, Luxembourg, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, China, Brazil, Belgium, Austria, and Australia.

What deals will be offered?

Shoppers will be able to score deals on more than 2 million items across several categories including apparel and footwear, as well as home decor and appliances, books, toys and games, automotive and everyday essentials, with sales on tech and electronics often serving as the event’s main attraction.

What’s more, the Seattle-based company shared that it would offer more than a million deals from small business partners, which include Black-owned, woman-owned and military family-owned sellers. For two weeks leading up to the event, members who spend $10 on select U.S. small business products and brands in Amazon’s store — like Amazon Handmade and Amazon Launchpad — will be able to get a $10 credit to use on Prime Day. Customers are eligible to earn the credit from June 7 to 20, and promotions will also run in the U.K., Spain, Germany, Italy, France and Japan.

Plus, on June 7, members will be able to shop alongside A-listers like actress Kristen Bell, TV host Karamo Brown and comedian Mindy Kaling, who will be joined by some small business owners to discuss the products they have to offer ahead of Prime Day.

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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