Prime Day Has an Unofficial Date, Which Would Kick Off the Earliest Holiday Shopping Season Ever

Get ready to make your gift list and check it twice

Prime Day is reportedly less than a month away. Analysts say this is the beginning of a very long holiday shopping season. Amazon
Headshot of Lisa Lacy

We may finally have a start date for Amazon Prime Day 2020: Tuesday, Oct. 13. That’s according to CNET, which cited “four people with knowledge of Amazon’s plans.”

CNET also linked to a Reddit thread on Reddit from the Amazon fulfillment center community in which users discussed why there was a vacation blackout in Amazon warehouses from Oct. 13-20 and one user noted, “It’s Prime Week.”

An Amazon spokesperson said the platform has not announced dates, but, encouraged customers to ask Alexa to keep them posted about Prime Day. Those who opt in will be notified when Amazon makes its announcement, as well as when Prime Day begins.

Delays have been rumored since July, which is when the sales event has taken place since 2015. That’s in part because of logistical challenges that resulted from unanticipated changes in consumer purchase behavior early in the pandemic, which caused shipping delays and spurred Amazon to temporarily change what it stocked in its warehouses to better meet demand.

It was not clear how long the sale will last this year. It was extended to two days in 2019.

Amazon has not shared how much revenue it generates from Prime Day, but in 2019, it said customers bought more than 175 million items.

The sales event, however, is arguably even more important to Amazon for another reason: It gives the platform an opportunity to show off the benefits of its Prime membership program, including Prime Music and Prime Video, making it an effective way to lure in new members. In 2019, for example, Amazon said it added more new members on Prime Day than any other day in its history, which helped it hit the 150 million member mark later that year.

And it isn’t just Amazon that benefits from this sale. Since the first Prime Day in 2015, other retailers have jumped on the bandwagon. Last year, savings site RetailMeNot estimated as many as 250 other retailers offered their own tangential promotions with their own spins—starting a day earlier, ending a day later, stretching it out for a week or more—while reminding shoppers they don’t charge membership fees and offering in-store pickup.

According to Adobe Digital Insights, online retailers see an increasingly strong halo effect on Prime Day, with a projected revenue bump of 79% last year, which was up from 60% in 2018.

Whether you’re ready to hear this or not, Prime Day 2020 will in all likelihood be the unofficial kickoff to the 2020 holiday shopping season. Analysts say that’s because a delayed Prime Day will capture additional holiday shopping traffic as consumers use the occasion to buy gifts instead of just stuff for themselves, as they’d more likely do during summer.

And, as noted, Prime Day will likely prompt promotional activity from other retailers. Some are even reportedly trying to get a Singles Day-inspired shopping event called 10.10 off the ground on Oct. 10. The new holiday seeks to get shoppers in the holiday spirit a month before the world’s biggest shopping day, an annual event strongly tied to Chinese ecommerce platform Alibaba, which has taken place on Nov. 11 since 2009 but hasn’t made much headway in the U.S. so far.


Join Adweek for Commerce Week, a live virtual summit on Nov. 9-12, to explore the rapid transformation of the commerce landscape, and what's next. Register now.


@lisalacy lisa.lacy@adweek.com Lisa Lacy is a senior writer at Adweek, where she focuses on retail and the growing reach of Amazon.
{"taxonomy":"default","sortby":"default","label":"","shouldShow":"on"}