If you haven't been living under a rock for the last few years then chances are you'll have heard of both Amazon and their famed Prime Day sales in July. These usually involve mega discounts on every piece of stock Amazon's got to offer, so they can gain even more web traffic in the usually quiet summer months.
However, with the Covid-19 outbreak, Prime Day could see a postponement or cancellation, according to leaked documents obtained by Reuters. The exclusive article clearly states that Amazon could experience a colossal $100m loss for shifting devices at a discounted rate. These include their popular line of Echo devices, of which there's three here at home, and the included stock of such devices is around 5 million that they had expected to sell sooner.
This is essentially an exercise in deferred spending on the part of the average joes like you and me. Last year's Prime Day sale saw a revenue for Amazon of just over $7 billion and for this to be postponed or even cancelled obviously means that such a large hit isn't exactly out the question. It's the time when everyone's winding down for the summer and this cancellation means Amazon can't capitalise on people at home.
As an event, Prime Day is the high-time for Amazon to gain non-Prime customers through the fact that you need a Prime account to access the madness, and with each subscription costing £79 or $119, then it's a big money maker for the American firm. Surveys over the last few years have revealed that, on average, Prime subscribers spend more than double the money on Amazon than non-Prime customers - Prime users spend on average $1400 a year on Amazon, whereas non-Prime users spend $600.
In the wider scheme of things, Prime Day is one of the last big sales before Black Friday and then Christmas, which means that it's not just Amazon that lose out. For those third-party sellers who contributed $2 billion to the total revenue of Prime Day in 2019, its cancellation could mean the demise of some of those third-party sellers. Moreover, for the seasonal staff employed by Amazon to help out in the distribution of people's deliveries will now be out of a job, which means they aren't getting paid and supporting themselves or anyone else they're with, be it friends or family.
Meeting the bonanza of Prime Day for Amazon already seems pretty impossible, especially given the delays on deliveries for non-essential items. They've decided to prioritise the deliveries of essential goods to help those in dire need, and for those non-essential items like those kazoos you've been meaning to order or that new coffee machine, expect backlogs of at least a month.
The postponement or outright cancellation of Prime Day is likely to have a huge knock-on effect in the e-commerce world. There's a lot of retailers who rely on directing consumers to finding the best deals and even then, affiliates may also lose out due to the web traffic that Prime Day is almost certain to bring. It's more likely that Prime Day will be postponed for a fortnight or so, which mitigates the forecasted impact, but even then, that has the potential to cause a few problems.
If Prime Day is eventually postponed or cancelled, it won't necessarily be a bad thing. There's a lot more important events happening in the world right now, and it would be immoral to profiteer from a crisis, especially when people are a captive audience in lockdown as we are at the moment. Prime Day should be postponed until we've got more disposable income and economic stability - it's no use spending on non-essential items and impulse buys that nobody needs at this time. Instead, it's paramount that we all do our bit by staying home and saving lives.