Amazon.com Inc.’s self-made annual shopping holiday, Prime Day, will launch on Monday and last 36 hours—six hours longer than last year’s 30-hour sale. With Amazon’s sales event in its fourth year, rival retail sites know consumers are primed to shop online on July 16 and 17 and several are looking to capitalize on those eyeballs.
Of all U.S. shoppers polled, 31% plan to comparison shop online with other retailers on Prime Day and 32% of all shoppers might do so, according to a new Internet Retailer-exclusive survey of 1,000 online shoppers conducted this week by Toluna. Additionally 63% of all shoppers surveyed said they comparison shopped online with other retailers on Prime Day last year. 30% of shoppers plan to shop on Amazon on Prime Day this year and 38% say they might do so.
For instance, Taking aim at Amazon’s $119 annual Prime membership price tag, eBay announced a Prime Day rival event with sales on thousands of products and with more than 100 deals priced at $119 during the same week as Prime Day. EBay is using two new 15-second digital spots to promote deals starting at $119 “with no membership required.”
Amazon is No. 1 in the Internet Retailer 2018 Top 1000.
Other retailers are launching sales—many coining them as Christmas in July-esque sales—including:
Dell Inc. (No. 4): The computer and electronics manufacturer and retailer launched its Black Friday in July sale on July 2, which runs through July 16. The sale offers deals including up to 30% off home theater systems and up to 35% off multimedia and gaming monitors. Its Cyber Week in July sale follows July 16 to 23.
Macy’s Inc. (No. 6): Macy’s Black Friday in July sale runs July 9 to July 15, featuring discounts of up to 50%. The sale includes women’s clothing, men’s clothing, shoes, juniors’ clothing and kids’ clothing.
Kohl’s Corp. (No. 18): Kohl’s is offering 15% off orders greater than $100 through September. While offering a competing sale to Amazon Prime Day, Kohl’s struck a deal with Amazon in October to accept returns of Amazon items at some of its stores.
Overstock.com Inc. (No. 32): Overstock is promoting 70% off all items until July 16.
Office Depot/Office Max (No. 14): The office supply retailer is offering $20 off regular-priced orders greater than $125 and $40 off regular-priced orders greater than $250 from July 7 to July 14.
Target Corp. (No. 17): Target.com is promoting a one-day sale on July 17, one of the same days as Prime Day, taking a stab at Amazon by touting that no membership fee is required for its sale. Additionally, shoppers who spend $100 on Target.com on July 17 will receive a free six-month membership for same-day delivery via its program with Shipt. The sale also includes free next-day Target Restock delivery for orders on July 17. The chain is also promoting 30% off Target home brands, 25% off beauty and personal care items and more.
Barnes & Noble Booksellers Inc. (No. 74): Is promoting a Black Friday in July sale offering 10% off any order. The sale ends July 17, Prime Day.
Internet Retailer projects shoppers will spend $4.04 billion on Amazon during its fourth-annual Prime Day this year. That’s a 67% jump from the Internet Retailer-estimated $2.41 billion in sales on Prime Day last year (held on July 11, 2017). In the U.S., shoppers are expected to spend $2.50 billion, Internet Retailer estimates. Comparatively, last year Amazon grew its overall Prime Day sales by 60% year over year during the 30-hour sale.
There are several factors driving the projected 67% increase. For one, Prime Day will span 36 hours this year, six hours longer than last year’s 30-hour sale. In the U.S., the sale will start at 3 p.m. Eastern on July 16. Prime Day also will extend into Whole Foods Market stores, where Prime members will receive an extra 10% off a selection of products. Amazon acquired Whole Foods last summer.
Voice ordering may play a bigger role in the purchase process on Prime Day this year, according to the new Walker Sands 2018 Future of Retail report. 19% of consumers reporting they’ve used a voice-controlled device to purchase products via Amazon Prime.
“Last year, Amazon offered discounted Alexa devices [on Prime Day] and proved its commitment to making voice a primary purchase channel and touch point for shoppers,” says Luke Starbuck, vice president of marketing at customer care automation platform Linc. “We should expect more of the same during this year’s Prime Day, evident already by their Alexa Prime Day sweepstakes.” Those sweepstakes include an offer of $50,000 and a new Lexus 2019 ES to an Alexa shopper who asks the device one of 10 phrases to enter the contest including: “Alexa, what are your deals?” and “Alexa, tell me about Prime.”
Beyond promotional campaign aside, Amazon is also offering a significant discount on its Echo Show devices—$100 off for Prime Members—the lowest price at which the company has ever offered the Echo Show. “We should also expect more Alexa-specific Prime Day deals this year as Amazon strives to make voice purchases more ubiquitous across their Prime members,” he says. “As shoppers become more comfortable with purchasing via Alexa, brands and retailers must recognize the new opportunity to connect with, and sell to, customers via voice.”
Amazon also seems to be making a branding push this shopping holiday for its private-label brands. Amazon is promoting its private-label clothing brands this Prime Day before the holiday technically starts by offering sales starting July 9. Beginning that day, shoppers could get up to 40% off women’s fashions and up to 50% off kids and baby apparel. Then, on Prime Day, the discounts get bigger, with up to 50% off clothing and accessories for men, women and kids. Amazon’s home decor brands Rivet and Stone & Beam are up to 25% off July 3 through Prime Day. AmazonBasics home items, meanwhile, are 20% off through Prime Day.
Nearly one in five (18%) consumers have purchased from an Amazon private-label brand in the past year, but 30% reported they weren’t sure if they have—indicating Amazon may try to put more of a spotlight on these products, according to the Walker Sands report.
Fareeha Ali contributed to this report.