Amazon Prime Day is likely to fall on July 11 or July 18 of this year, according to marketplace experts, citing a recent announcement to sellers who use the Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) service.
On March 2, Amazon.com Inc. posted a message in its Seller Central online community saying the FBA inventory cutoff date is June 20. That means third-party merchants who sell on the Amazon Marketplace have until then to ensure they have sufficient merchandise in Amazon’s fulfillment centers to meet Prime Day demand. In the FBA system, Amazon stores, packs, picks and ships orders for sellers from its global network of fulfillment centers.
“Barring any major any setback, and based on the data and the timing of the information on Seller Central, all the stars are lining up for July 11 or 18,” Fahim Naim, head of Amazon at Advantage Unified Commerce, an ecommerce consulting agency, told Digital Commerce 360.
Naim said that for the past three years, the FBA inventory cutoff date was on average 24 days before Prime Day. July 14, a Thursday, falls 24 days after June 20 this year. But the two-day event traditionally begins on a Monday. Naim said that makes it nearly certain that Prime Day 2022 will be either July 11 or 18.
It’s extremely unlikely that Amazon will choose the first Monday in July this year, which is Independence Day.
“Amazon is generally wary of running anything around the Fourth of July because of consumer travel and shopping habits. They can’t expect consumers to be on their computers that day,” Naim said. “That almost takes that card off the table. They’re just not going to have Prime Day on July 4.”
Naim predicts July 11 is the most likely day, and he gives it a 70% probability. He gives July 18 a 30% probability.
Bradley Sutton, chief ecommerce strategist at Helium 10, a maker of optimization tools for sellers on the Amazon and Walmart marketplaces, agrees.
“I’m predicting the middle of July,” Sutton told Digital Commerce 360, citing the June 20 cutoff date. “It also takes two to three weeks for Amazon to check-in all the inventory once it arrives, so we can probably expect Prime Day to occur within the first couple weeks of July.”
Amazon also told sellers who wish to offer deals for Prime Day they had until April 29 to submit a proposal for consideration.
Getting ready for Prime Day
Given that timeframe, sellers need to act fast.
“Sellers must get their inventory ordered now. Especially if you’re ordering from China, it’s important to place orders immediately since shipments are taking two or more months to arrive,” Sutton said, noting recent reports that factories in Shenzhen that manufacture Amazon products are on lockdown due to another COVID-19 outbreak. “If sellers don’t have their orders placed soon, they might not make the June 20th deadline. Sellers who are importing from China should order their inventory by early April at the latest so that there is enough time to clear customs.”
Dani Nadel, president and COO of Feedvisor, an advertising and pricing platform for Amazon sellers, also predicts Prime Day will fall in early July. Feedvisor also is telling its customers to begin preparing Prime Day strategies before mid-April at the latest.
“There are a variety of strategies you can use to best prepare, such as evaluating stock levels and upcoming shipments to avoid stockouts, analyzing your pricing approach and detail pages for popular SKUs,” Nadel said in an email to Digital Commerce 360. “Maximize your impact by beginning to run your advertising campaigns at least two weeks prior to the event for ongoing adjustments and optimizations to bids, keywords and ad spend.”
In 2021, Prime Day was June 21-22 — the earliest it has ever been held. For the sales event’s first five years, Amazon held Prime Day in July. In 2020, Amazon postponed the event to October due to the pandemic.
Amazon Prime Day sales
Prime Day, which features deals on many products on Amazon.com, began in 2015 as a celebration of Amazon’s 20th year in business. It turned into a summer sales holiday designed to drum up additional business for Amazon — and the retailer’s marketplace sellers — before the holiday shopping season. In recent years, other large retailers have offered promotions on their own websites around Prime Day to take advantage of the additional online shoppers.