As Amazon gears up for two days of heavy discounts for its Prime members, rival retailers are also jumping on the bandwagon with separate promotions designed to lure customers elsewhere.
Originally launched in 2015 as an artificial holiday to celebrate its 20th birthday, this year the Amazon Prime Day(s) will run for 48 hours for the first time, from Monday July 15 in to Tuesday July 16.
Amazon Prime Days now signal huge promotional activity across its site for its members, encouraging non-members to sign up in order to benefit from the discounts.
According to Amazon this will not only be the longest event on record, but will also see the largest number of deals, with Prime members getting access to over a million discounts worldwide.
As usual this will include significant discounts on Amazon’s own hardware, including what Amazon says will be the biggest discounts on its Alexa devices to date.
Last year marked the third in a row that Amazon managed to surpass its previous sales records, despite the 36-hour event being dogged by technical glitches due to the extreme levels of site traffic, thought to have cost it between $90 million (£69.18 million) and $99 million (£76.1 million).
In 2019, Amazon will launch its “Lightning Deals”, offering deals on items in limited quantities, alongside new exclusive entertainment and product launches from big brands and top talent.
However compelling Amazon’s artificial holiday may have become for consumers, rival retailers are also preparing to capture the promotional spirit this year.
Target will run “Deal Days” offering discounts on what it says are “rarely-on-sale” home, apparel and recreation items.
Walmart’s Google Week, already running from Monday July 8 to Tuesday July 16 sees the retail giant offer smart home device deals such as speakers, security cameras and doorbells.
Ebay last month announced a wave of deals beginning July 1 and lasting for three weeks in order to outrun Amazon’s two-day event.
“For three full weeks, shoppers will find great deals on the things they actually want — from top electronics and home items, to the latest fashion, sporting goods, and more,” the company said in a press release. Highlights include a “Crash Sale,” set to take place on July 15.
“If history repeats itself and Amazon crashes that day, eBay’s wave of can’t-miss deals on some of the season’s top items will excite customers around the world,” said eBay.