Amazon Prime Day 2020 will dethrone Black Friday, expert says

Stephanie Asymkos
·Reporter
·3 mins read

Amazon (AMZN) Prime Day 2020 is now the de facto start of the holiday shopping season.

The two-day event beginning on Oct. 13 shifted from its usual July date due to the pandemic, and with its closer proximity to the holidays, it’s expected to dethrone Black Friday and Cyber Monday as the fourth quarter’s top shopping day, according to new data from RetailMeNot.

Read more: Here's one big way the pandemic is changing holiday shopping

More than two-thirds of people (67%) plan to make a purchase during Amazon Prime Day this year, according to the RetailMeNot data, while 65% plan to spend money on Cyber Monday and 59% intend to buy on Black Friday this year.

“The 13th and 14th of October will be the unofficial—frankly the official— kickoff to the holiday shopping season,” said Sara Skirboll, shopping & trends expert at RetailMeNot.

The Amazon website is seen on a computer screen on July 14, 2019, in Orlando, Florida. This year's two-day event runs Oct. 13 and 14 during which Prime members can shop online for hundreds of thousands of specially discounted items. (Photo by Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
The Amazon website is seen on a computer screen on July 14, 2019, in Orlando, Florida. This year's two-day event runs Oct. 13 and 14 during which Prime members can shop online for hundreds of thousands of specially discounted items. (Photo by Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Record-making sales

The popularity of the event is too big to ignore. Last year, the e-commerce giant broke its own Prime Day records and surpassed the sales it had recorded for the previous Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.

Sales estimates for this year’s two-day event total nearly $10 billion worldwide, with over $6 billion generated from U.S. sales alone, according to research firm eMarketer. Even when set against the backdrop of a global pandemic, Amazon is still forecast to smash its previous sales record by $3 billion.

Amazon Prime boxes are loaded on a cart for delivery in New York. Slow shipping times and sold out items have plagued Amazon since the coronavirus pandemic caused a rush of orders from home-bound people. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
Amazon Prime boxes are loaded on a cart for delivery in New York. Slow shipping times and sold out items have plagued Amazon since the coronavirus pandemic caused a rush of orders from home-bound people. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

“Since Prime Day’s 2015 debut, Amazon has expanded the scale and spectacle of the event in a mostly predictable fashion,” said Andrew Lipsman, eMarketer principal analyst at Insider Intelligence. “The generally incremental changes from year to year gave customers and sellers a better sense of what to expect, with Lightning Deals and heavily discounted Echos and Fire TVs taking center stage.”

Competition heats up

The day also places added pressure on other retailers to get a piece of the spending extravaganza by offering steep discounts in an attempt to siphon customers away from Amazon.

The fanfare surrounding Prime Day might overshadow the competition, but Skirboll said there will be “hundreds of other brands and retailers who are participating and offering sales and discounts to shoppers on those two days.”

Read more: Here's how the pandemic has changed our feelings about shopping

Best Buy, Walmart, Target, Overstock, Zales, Macy's, QVC, and Ray-Ban have already announced competing sale days. Retailers are also significantly more likely than they were in 2019 to say they will offer their deepest discounts during Amazon Prime Day rather than Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year, according to RetailMeNot.

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Stephanie is a reporter for Yahoo Money and Cashay, a new personal finance website. Follow her on Twitter @SJAsymkos.

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