Tuesday , August 20, 2019

Amazon Prime Day Starts Monday And Is Shaping up To Be a Payments Bonanza

Amazon Prime Day is set for next week, and by all accounts Amazon.com Inc.’s online and in-store shopping frenzy is likely to be a payments-palooza. The event, which despite its name is set to cover two full days—July 15 and 16—this year, will generate $5.8 billion in sales, with $3.6 billion, or 62%, of that total coming from U.S. shoppers, projects Coresight Research, a New York City-based firm that follows retail spending. Internet Retailer is even more optimistic, forecasting $6.14 billion in sales.

Several reasons account for these estimated totals. A big one lies in the fact that this fifth annual event, which is scheduled to kick off at 3 a.m. Eastern Time on Monday, will run fully 12 hours longer than the 36-hour affair in July 2018. Another factor: the big sales event is restricted to Amazon Prime members, and there are simply more of them, in excess of 100 million worldwide, up from 95 million in June 2018, according to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, as cited by Internet Retailer.

Also, Prime Day has been expanded to 18 countries this year, up from 17 last time. And the number of deals has reportedly expanded to more than 1 million. Alexa-enabled devices, which feature artificial intelligence for such functions as banking and payments, are included.

As a result, Prime Day totals this time will likely rise well above the estimates for last year (Amazon does not release figures for the event). Coresight figures a 49% increase, while Internet Retailer says 46%. Revenue will account for well over 1% of Amazon’s total for the year, Coresight estimates.

Big increases may arise also from merchants that are arranging their own deals fests to compete with Prime Day. Target Corp. is set to run deals on Monday and Tuesday, and will extend extra offers for RedCard holders, according to Coresight’s report. Walmart will offer discounts on electronics, video games, home items, fashion, toys, the report says, while eBay is set for a so-called “Crash Sale” July 15. That’s part of a three-week series of sale events that began July 1.

Even Amazon’s Whole Foods grocery unit is getting into the act. It will offer a $10 credit for Prime Day for every $10 customers spend at Whole Foods, Coresight reports.

But for all the growth and publicity, Prime Day is slowing down as it gets bigger. The event logged a 74% increase in sales last year, according to Internet Retailer’s estimates. And, for some perspective, the Singles Day event staged last year by China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba generated nearly $31 billion in sales, according to the Coresight Report.

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