Amazon Prime Day will not be in July this year. While Amazon doesn’t typically announce Prime Day dates far in advance, a Reuters report stated that the 2020 summer shopping event would be delayed until “at least” mid-August.
Prime Day 2019 was the “largest shopping event in Amazon history.” The deals event “surpassed the previous Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.” During the 48-hour sale last year, Prime members bought more than 175 million items.
Prime Day began in 2015 as a much smaller sale to attract members to Amazon’s subscription program. It has now grown into a global event with other retailers also joining in.
Delays and business changes due to COVID-19
Amazon declined to comment on the reasons or the specifics, though the COVID-19 pandemic is clearly driving business decisions at the moment. As Amazon tries to respond to rapidly shifting demand and priorities, the pandemic will have long-term implications.
According to the report, Amazon has approximately 5 million devices (such as Echo and other Alexa-enabled items) that are usually popular during events such as Black Friday and Prime Day. “We probably have to promote sooner, which will be difficult if we’re capacity constrained,” General Counsel David Zapolsky wrote in notes from a daily meeting of Amazon executives. The notes said this would result in a $100 million to $300 million impact. The delay also will affect third-party merchants who have planned their business around seasonal and promotional calendars and account for more than half of Amazon sales.
Amazon also cited concerns about expanding capacity for cloud computing through AWS. While additional data centers are being built in Ireland, these plans could be affected by social distancing and quarantine efforts.
Impacts on fulfillment centers
One key factor in the Prime Day delay may be storage space and operations logistics at fulfillment centers. Amazon announced that deliveries continue for customers, but wait times may be longer than usual. The reason being that Amazon is prioritizing products coming into fulfillment centers. Amazon has been classifying items based upon the listing, and is not accepting requests to reclassify. However, sellers can still sell non-household staples or medical supplies through merchant-fulfilled channels. And Amazon continues to process customer orders, but with the aforementioned potential for delays.
“We continue to prioritize household staples, medical supplies, and other high-demand products coming into our fulfillment centers. We consider many factors when determining which products can be sent to our fulfillment centers, including high-demand products customers need now; current inventory levels and inventory in transit; fulfillment center capacity; and our ability to adhere to guidelines from health authorities within our fulfillment centers.”
Amazon waiving FBA storage fees
In light of Amazon’s essential items policy, the company announced on March 31 that FBA storage fees would be waived. Amazon will waive two weeks of inventory storage fees for products stored in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, and the Czech Republic.
This is in addition to the previously announced updates including:
- Waiving the April 15 long-term storage fees for inventory stored in the US and Europe.
- Pausing repayments and interest until April 30 for sellers with direct loans from Amazon Lending.
- Waiving Strategic Account Management Services and Amazon Launchpad program fees for April
Sellers and vendors should be aware of Amazon updates via Seller Central and Vendor Central, plus Amazon’s Day One blog. If you need further help with your account, including inventory management, please contact us.
Image courtesy of Amazon.com