Amazon, Walmart battle it out for Prime Day
Amazon’s annual Prime Day, which the online retailer moved to October 13-14 because of COVID-19, may have a bit stiffer competition this year.
Last year was the first time Amazon made their Prime Day a two-day event to make it easier on their online ordering system and offer Prime members more time to shop. They’ve announced a growing number of deals, some of which have already started.
While Amazon has had 15 years to build its empire and other retailers have started offering big deals to try and compete in recent years, even if just a little bit. But this year, Amazon will have a new contender with Walmart’s new Big Sales event that started yesterday.
Last month, Walmart launched Walmart Plus, which is their attempt to provide a subscription service similar to Amazon Prime. While Prime is still much larger in its number of available products, Walmart has the advantage of learning from Amazon’s mistakes over the years. The two services have similar delivery services, but Prime offers streaming video, whereas Plus offers gas discounts. Prime is $119 a year, and Plus is $98.
Walmart has its Big Sales event, which started yesterday and runs through October 15 (Thursday). That gives it double the number of days as Prime Day, but time will tell if its enough to even come close to the volume that Amazon expects to do for its two-day special sales event. Another interesting differentiator between the two events is that Prime Day requires you to be a member; the Big Sales event does not require membership.
We think that both days are going to be big for several reasons. One, COVID-19 has made e-commerce do more than just rise. It’s exploded. Since spring, our final mile services have operated at a much greater capacity when the pandemic basically shut the world down.
Another reason is, people now have even more options to buy stuff for less, and that always is a draw.
Finally, also because of COVID, people are realizing that they need to start Christmas shopping early. Shipping times will be extended this year because of the influx of online ordering; plus, people who will not be making their usual trek to visit family are ordering now to have items shipped to themselves for wrapping then whose gifts will be shipped to the recipients as the holidays get closer.
Another thing to look for this year is smaller retailers, even locals, trying to get in on the Prime Day attention. With it being so close to Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, some retailers might use this event to test out their systems they felt more pressure to build this year to stay in business.
What about you? Are you going to take advantage of Prime Day and the Big Sales events?