by: Andrew Geller, Benzinga Staff Writer
As it looks to expand its already massive footprint on the global economy, Amazon.com, Inc. AMZN 0.86% has prepared a new-and-improved Prime Day for July 16, 2018. The annual discount event began in 2015 as a means to entice more users to subscribe to Amazon Prime, the e-commerce giant’s paid membership service, as well as a way to boost sales.
The first Prime Day in 2015 was considered a relative flop, with consumers complaining about irrelevant deals and comparing it to a neighborhood yard sale. While discounted items like Beard Farmer’s Beard Growther oil were not well-received, the company still reported 80-percent higher sales than on a normal day.
Tweaks For The Better
Since then, Amazon has been working to make Prime Day something consumers will look forward to on a yearly basis. Prime Day 2017 was Amazon’s biggest sales day to date, beating Prime Day 2016 by 50 percent. This year’s event will hit 17 countries and last from noon PST July 16 until midnight PST July 17 — six hours longer than last year’s Prime Day.
Amazon has over 1 million deals on the table this year. Here’s some other things to look out for this Prime Day, whether you’re a first-time Amazon user or a Prime Pantry regular.
Product Launches: Some Amazon vendors have elected to release new products on Prime Day. This makes the shopping holiday a bigger draw for the early adopter consumer segment, and also showcases new Amazon-enhanced products, including a Delta kitchen faucet equipped with the Alexa voice assistant.
Whole Foods: The first Prime Day since Amazon acquired Whole Foods will feature discounts on groceries, cooking demonstrations, and more for Prime members. When using an Amazon Prime Rewards Visa card, shoppers will get 10 percent back on purchases up to $400.
Amazon Brands: In addition to launching new products from its vendors, Amazon will be offering deals on its own merchandise. Some of these discounts are already available: you can buy an Echo Show today for $129 (normally $229). Be on the lookout for deals on Prime Video, Amazon Music and Kindle as well.
In addition, Amazon is offering even more deals to customers who shop using Amazon services. Shoppers using the Amazon Assistant browser plugin will receive $5 off any Prime Day order of $25 or more, while users of the Amazon app's Camera Search feature will receive $5 off select Prime Day deals.
What Does This Mean For Investors?
Last year’s Prime Day didn't represent a major event for Amazon’s stock price. The share price reached an all-time high in the weeks after the event, only to drop into the early fall before taking off on a long-term uptrend.
With this year's focus on snagging customers through services like Alexa and Amazon Assistant, Prime Day 2018 could prove to be the most impactful one yet in terms of the company's long-term outlook.
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