Amazon bills Prime Day as a bigger-than-Black-Friday sale

July 6, 2015 04:08 PM Inc. is throwing itself a Prime-time 20th birthday party with Prime Day. The top Internet retailer bills the July 15 event as bigger than Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, with thousands of sales offers and specials available only to Amazon Prime members.

New and existing members of Prime, which gives members free two-day shipping on 20 million items for $99 a year and includes other services such as free streaming video and e-books, will have access to Lightning Deals and Deals of the Day, with some deals offered every 10 minutes. The global party—exclusively for Prime members in the United States, United Kingdom, Spain, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, Canada and Austria—starts at midnight Pacific time on the 15th.

Prime Day clearly is meant to act as a membership driver for Prime; consumers who sign up for a 30-day trial membership are eligible for Prime Day specials. “If you’re not already a Prime member, you’ll want to join so you don’t miss out on one of the biggest deals extravaganzas in the world,” said Greg Greeley, vice president, Amazon Prime.

Investment firm Macquarie earlier this year said half of U.S. households could be members of Amazon Prime by 2020. Macquarie estimates 20 to 25% of U.S. households, or 40 million, include a Prime member. Macquarie also says in the fourth quarter of 2014 that 10 million consumers signed up for Prime.

And members of Amazon Prime spend a lot more than other consumers on Amazon. RBC Capital Markets estimates Prime members spent $538 last year on, versus $320 for consumers who shopped on Amazon but didn’t belong to Prime.

Prime’s role in driving shoppers to Amazon has led competitors to offer similar deals. For example, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to test an Amazon Prime-like loyalty program that will offer online customers unlimited free shipping for $50 a year. 

Representatives for Amazon, No. 1 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide, could not be reached for additional comment.

Prime Day also includes a #PrimeLiving photo contest. Prime Photos is a new feature to Prime members launched Monday. The contest offers a chance to win a $10,000 Amazon Gift Card in each Prime-eligible country. Members sign in between July 6-15 to submit a photo on the contest page, according to Amazon, showing how they love Prime and how it brings about some happy moments. “Did you save enough time today to take the dog for a long walk? Did you finish your shopping while lounging at the beach?” the e-retailers states. One winner will be selected in each country, and winners will be invited to have their photos used as screen savers on Amazon Fire TV.




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