Amazon has postponed its marquee shopping event Prime Day to early October due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
It had previously focused on September as the potential timing for Prime Day, but on Wednesday, Amazon informed its third-party sellers that the mega event has been postponed by a month, as per an email, which was viewed by CNBC and then firstly reported by Business Insider.
The email advised its sellers to use the week of Oct 5 as a “placeholder date” for Prime Day promotions and coupons, and at the same time cautioned that “exact Prime Day dates have not been announced.”
The email states that “A definitive date will be announced as we get closer to the event. We are looking forward to seeing submissions that offer the most delight to customers during one of the biggest shopping days of the year, Prime Day!”
An Amazon spokesperson told CNBC in a statement: “We have not made any announcements regarding Prime Day.”
Prime Day, which is typically held in July started in 2015, The objective is to offer discounts as well as to enroll new Prime members, along with promoting Amazon’s own products and services yielding in a sales boost in the mid of the year.
In the ingoing coronavirus pandemic in the past few months, brands and sellers have been preparing for Amazon to delay this year’s Prime Day.
Amazon in June held a fashion sales event called ”The Big Style Sale” with an objective to provide a boost for sellers feeling the impacts of the slowdown in retail selling coronavirus pandemic. It was also an attempt to make sellers do away with excess inventory in lieu of Prime Day.
Amazon had its share of controversies during the pandemic as a series of articles highlighted its shortcomings on issues like delivery delays and inventory shortages. Since then it has had been working to return its logistics operations to normal.
Operations at Amazon’s warehouses have come back to normal, but the second wave of coronavirus outbreaks across the country could threaten to upend its logistics operations again. The recent surge in Covid-19 cases has already resulted in some shipping delays both in the domestic market and abroad, said Fahim Naim, a former Amazon executive and CEO of e-commerce consultancy opportunity.
Naim further added that some of his clients have sold through their inventory due to the surge in online traffic both on and off Amazon and have been scrambling to get items back in stock. Inventory shortages, as well as warehouse delays, have “added much uncertainty in recent weeks,”
Amazon may not be in a position to the delay Prime Day beyond October, as the holiday shopping season is fast approaching, which typically kicks off in November, Naim said.
“That said, if there is any company that can convince customers to buy big in consecutive months, it would be Amazon,” he further concluded.