The length of Amazon Prime Day is increasing: the holiday was extended from 30 hours in 2017 to 36 hours in 2018, and the 2019 version will reach a full two days, lasting for the entirety of July 15 and 16. The 2019 event will feature more than 1 million deals, thousands of new product launches and special promotions at Whole Foods Market.
The shopping holiday’s expansion is no surprise: Prime Day raked in $4.2 billion in 2018, and sales jumped 89% in the first 12 hours despite a site crash. The event was particularly successful at bringing Alexa-enabled devices into the mainstream; sales of all Echo products skyrocketed to approximately 45X the average number sold per day over the previous month.
“This is yet another example of the flexibility Amazon has to push the pricing envelope, in this case to broaden and deepen the benefits to Prime members, which creates a conundrum for all retailers, with the smaller, financially weaker retailers the most at risk,” said Charlie O’Shea, VP at Moody’s in commentary provided to Retail TouchPoints. “Making this even tougher, Walmart and Target will react, further turning up the competitive heat. A hot summer just got much hotter.”
Prime Day also will highlight small- and medium-sized businesses from around the world, including a dedicated page of deals from U.S.-based entrepreneurs. SMBs generated $1.5 billion in sales during Prime Day last year.
However, the event has traditionally put an emphasis on Amazon-branded products with special deals. Prime Day 2018 featured 30% off home services, 30% off furniture and décor and up to 50% off apparel — all helping the retailer’s private label brands gain a foothold in homes across the globe.
Amazon also is expanding its sales to professionals: the retailer has launched the Amazon Professional Beauty Store, which offers professional-grade beauty supplies typically found in salons and spas to licensed stylists. The impact of this move is already being felt in the beauty industry, with Ulta Beauty shares dropping 2.6% and Sally Beauty shares plummeting nearly 17% in response to the news, according to CNBC.