Prime Day is back. Amazon on Thursday finally revealed that the e-commerce pseudo-holiday will return on July 12 and 13, with member-only deals beginning as early as Tuesday.
For Prime Day 2022, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) emphasized that customers will be able to shop from more third-party sellers than last year. It touted the number of small and midsized businesses that would be available, and Amazon is rewarding customers who buy from small businesses with some big prizes — including tickets to Super Bowl LVII.
“With the small businesses and national brands our members love and trust, we’re excited to offer some of our best Prime Day deals yet to even more customers around the world,” said Jamil Ghani, vice president of Amazon Prime. “This year, we’re making it simple for members to find the best deals, from personalized deal recommendations to Alexa reminders. It’s never been easier for Prime members to shop, save and make the most of Prime Day.”
With Prime Day 2022 less than a month away, here’s everything you need to know.
The Prime effect
Prime Day has set the e-commerce world alight since it was introduced in 2015. Total e-commerce spending was less than $1 billion on the inaugural Prime Day. But as the event has grown in popularity, other retailers have launched their own deals to compete.
Total e-commerce sales during the Prime Day period have grown steadily over the years. In 2021, digital sales during Prime Day topped $11 billion — that’s more than online retailers sold during Cyber Monday the year prior, according to Adobe Analytics. Expect to see other retailers like Walmart and Target continue to roll out competing deals this year.
But Prime Day 2021 actually marked a deceleration of growth. Between 2019 and 2020, total e-commerce sales during Prime Day grew more than 45% — that number was only 6.1% between 2020 and 2021.
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Supply chain disruptions are a likely culprit for the slowdown, with many retailers being unable to offer their full catalogs due to concerns around getting products to consumers. Supporting that thesis is the decrease in order size Amazon saw last year. The average order during Prime Day 2021 was $52.33, less than it was in both 2019 and 2020.
Still, Prime Day was a valuable time for third-party sellers on the platform. Before Prime Day 2021, Amazon awarded customers a $10 discount for shopping with small businesses, similar to the rewards it plans to offer this year. Those promotions netted third-party sellers nearly $2 billion in sales before the event even began.
Added incentives to shop with third-party sellers could help even the playing field between small and large businesses. Typically, third-party sellers have a tougher time sourcing products from abroad, particularly China and Southeast Asia, than enterprise retailers do.
In the announcement detailing Prime Day 2022, Amazon said deliveries of Prime orders would be “free” and “fast,” but it didn’t specify just how fast. Prime is known for its free same- and next-day delivery. But with the astronomical volume of orders that comes in on Prime Day, it might take a bit longer for customers to receive their products. Experts expressed similar fears around delivery delays last year.
While Prime Day 2022 isn’t until mid-July, the holiday begins in earnest this month. Starting Tuesday, the marketplace will roll out deals on Amazon devices like the Echo or Kindle. It will also offer close to half off on Fire TV smart TVs and launch live shopping with celebrities and influencers.
From June 28 to July 11, Prime members will also be eligible for a buy now, pay over time service through Affirm. By spending $50 or more on eligible products, customers can get 0% APR on three equal monthly payments. That means a $300 product could be paid for in three $100 installments rather than fully upfront.
Then, beginning June 29, Prime customers will get 20% off at Amazon Fresh stores in the U.S. To extend the benefit year-round, members can either scan their Amazon app at checkout or pay with a card registered to their Prime accounts.
Another promotion appears to be a sort of Prime membership scavenger hunt. Prime members will receive stamps for streaming a show on Prime Video, listening to a song with Prime Music, borrowing an e-ook on Prime Reading or making a purchase eligible for Prime shipping. Once all four are completed, Amazon will award $10 in Prime Day credit.
One of Amazon’s biggest initiatives for Prime Day 2022 is the revival of its promotion supporting small businesses. For every dollar spent with sellers that have the new Small Business Badge between Tuesday and July 11, Amazon will give members the chance to win big prizes. A private New York screening of an upcoming Prime Video series, a VIP trip to Los Angeles and tickets to the upcoming Super Bowl are a sampling of the prizes on offer.
The goal is to direct more traffic to third-party sellers, which Amazon succeeded in doing last year. Customers spent more than double what they spent at small businesses during the promotional period in 2020, which helped make Prime Day 2021 the most profitable two-day stretch ever for Amazon third-party sellers.
It’s worth noting, however, that after revealing Prime Day third-party sales data for the first time in 2020, Amazon declined to reveal that information in 2021.