Amazon may be holding its Prime Day event this year on July 17, with deals starting midday on July 16, according to an apparently errant banner that had been posted to its U.K. website, TechRadar reports. Amazon didn’t immediately reply to Retail Dive’s request for verification.
That start time means the event may also run longer than in previous years, with 36 hours of deals compared to last year’s 30 hours, according to the report.
It also would depart from the e-retailer’s tradition of holding Prime Day on the second Tuesday in July, which some observers speculate is to avoid competing with attention to the World Cup soccer championship, which is set to take place July 15.
Amazon launched Prime Day three years ago to collect more Prime memberships and gain shoppers' attention at a time of year when most people are thinking about how soon they can get to the beach.
Since then it's morphed into more than a day, with a multitude of exclusive deals across its vast spectrum of merchandise categories, that also boosts other retailers' midsummer sales. The e-commerce giant heads into the event this year with, officially, 100 million Prime members worldwide and, unlike last year, as the owner of grocery chain Whole Foods.
The company's recent $20 membership increase hasn't discouraged many members: 48% say they'll keep their memberships, while 32% say they'll be canceling theirs, according to a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers from Offers.com conducted for deals site BlackFriday.com. Some 20% are disgruntled but also said they'll use a free Prime trial to participate in the sale day. In all, 48% in that survey sadi they're Prime members, 45% are not and 7% will get a trial membership just for Prime Day.
Amazon surely hopes that many of those opting for a free trial will stick around, and most do, according to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, which found that nearly 73% of 30-day trial subscribers pay for the first full year of Amazon Prime membership.
There's some skepticism about the day, though. While 18% of consumers plan to shop on Prime Day, 47% are unsure and have a wait-and-see attitude. Women are more skeptical (57%) than men (38%) about the quality of Prime Day deals, BlackFriday found.
Shoppers are hoping for deals on electronics (41%), home goods (41%), clothing and accessories (28%), toys and games (20%), tools (16%), groceries (10%), books (1%) and other stuff (5%). For some categories, including floor care and computer drives, Prime Day delivered a bigger sales boost than Christmas, according to e-commerce analytics platform Profitero.
The company's Alexa-powered Echo devices and its Whole Foods chain will drive sales and membership, Ryne Misso, director of marketing at Market Track, said in comments emailed to Retail Dive. "An obvious prediction is that Whole Foods will play some role in Prime Day this year. A more specific (and hopefully less obvious) prediction is that Amazon will use Prime Day to drive more loyalty towards Whole Foods," he said, adding that could include Prime Day-only promotions at Whole Foods or tying a Whole Foods-specific offer to those who subscribe to Prime on Prime Day.