Amazon Prime Day hits on July 12-13

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Prime Day, Amazon's yearly event in which the company and its sellers discount a large number of products in exchange for a surge in sales, is coming to a screen near you. The e-commerce behemoth announced today that Prime Day will take place on July 12-13 this year.

The United States, Amazon's home turf, will be the focus of this discount bonanza, but, like "Black Friday," Prime Day has become increasingly global over the years, and Amazon will be holding Prime Day in at least 15 other countries on the same day, including Canada, China, Brazil, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

The business said that Prime Day sales would be held later this summer in India, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and a few more regions.

Prime Day is usually conducted in the summer as a way to stoke up activity to counteract the generally slow sales activity during that time. However, due to the epidemic, Amazon had to change the Prime Day schedule for the last two years. In 2020, it was pushed back to October; in 2021, it was pushed forward to June.

Prime Day is about increasing sales, but it's also about increasing something else: it's one of Amazon's exclusive features for Prime members, who pay an extra fee to get free shipping on a variety of items, and access to the company's media streaming services, and more. From June 21, Amazon Prime members will get first access to some of the Prime Day discounts, ahead of the rest of the public.

Discounts on Amazon's own products, such as the Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen), the Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen) Kids, the Kindle Paperwhite, and the Halo fitness band, will be available, as well as discounts on Fire TV-compatible sets from companies such as Insignia, Toshiba, and Panasonic, in addition to Amazon's own devices.

Other deals announced by Amazon include a 20 percent discount on select Amazon Fresh items, a $10 credit for completing activities like listening to a song, watching a movie, or reading a book via Prime services, and a chance to win prizes for purchasing at small businesses.

It also makes use of the opportunity to test out some new selling forms.

Starting June 21, Amazon's website, shopping app, and Fire TV will stream live shopping with celebrities including Porsha Williams, Joe and Frank Mele, and Hilary Duff. This follows Kristen Bell, Karamo Brown, and Mindy Kaling's participation in live shopping for Prime Day last year.

It's also using BNPL to encourage consumers to click a bit more. For orders over $50 made between June 28 and July 11, fintech startup Affirm teamed with Amazon to give Prime Members the Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) option, which allows them to divide their payments into three installments. (Affirm's pitch, like that of other BNPL platforms, is "interest-free" payments.)

Prime Day is very important to Amazon's business line. It claimed that during the sales event last year, it sold more than 250 million goods, resulting in a gross merchandise volume of $9.54 billion. To put things in perspective, experts pointed out that annual growth was minimal. Part of it is due to the massive boost caused by Covid-19 purchase habits, followed by the inevitable fall down to earth: Amazon recorded a 54 percent year-over-year increase in Prime Day sales in 2020, but that statistic fell to 'only' a 7% rise in 2021.

Given inflation and the increased constraints on consumer spending in the United States and internationally, it will be fascinating to watch what 2022 brings.

Another item to keep an eye on this is the company's first Prime Day since founder Jeff Bezos stepped down as CEO last year. All eyes will be on incumbent CEO Andy Jassy to see whether he can deliver the goods.

Amazon has raised the price of its Prime service from $12.99 to $14.99 per month in the last few months, launched an invite-only ordering system for items like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox, begun testing an augmented reality shopping experience, and promised to launch a drone delivery system in California later this year.

Despite this, the corporation hasn't had the best year so far, posting a $3.84 billion loss in the first quarter and forecasting $116 billion to $121 billion in revenue for the second quarter, which falls short of analysts' expectations of $125.5 billion. Amazon's stock is now selling at a loss of more than 36% compared to a year ago. On its platform, Amazon is also attempting to address concerns such as phony reviews and counterfeit items.

According to a recent projection from eMarketer, the US e-commerce sector will surpass $1 trillion. However, Amazon's market share will fall for the first time, to 37.8 percent from 38 percent earlier. Given how much is riding on market buzz these days, Prime Day's performance might determine whether Amazon sinks or floats on those comments.

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