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Prime competition: Retailers launch 48-hour sales of their own

Some of Australia’s biggest e-commerce sites, including Catch, and eBay, and bricks-and-mortar retailers, including David Jones, have slashed prices on thousands of items in a bid to compete with Amazon Prime Day.

The Prime Day pile-on sees retailers not only holding their own sales over the same days as Amazon, which this year is holding its annual sale for 48 hours over July 15-16, but in many cases slashing prices on the same popular brands as the US retailer.

Catch, for instance, is advertising 16 per cent off a Michael Kors tote, while eBay is promoting 20 per cent off Toys ‘R’ Us products including Lego, two brands that have also been discounted by Amazon Australia.

Catch’s chief marketing officer Ryan Gracie called the ’48-Hour Non-Stop Price Drop’, which runs from July 15 until 9am on July 17, one of the company’s biggest sales events of the year.

“[W]e have slashed the prices even further on over 50,000 of our top-selling products – including tech, homewares and fashion. There are great savings right across the site,” he said in a statement.

In the US, this the second time that retailers like Target and Walmart have held sales during Amazon Prime Day. In a statement, Mark Tritton, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer of Target in the US said the retailer’s ‘One-Day Sale’, held during Amazon Prime Day 2018, was one of its biggest of the year for online sales.

“This year, we’re giving guests more discounts across even more of our assortment with two days to save on hundreds of thousands of items and offering the best options in retail for delivery and pick up on their terms, including same-day.”

In Australia, the markdowns come just two weeks after Catch, and many other retailers, held their annual EOFY sales. But a spokesperson for Catch told Inside Retail the increased frequency of major online shopping events hasn’t impacted the cut-through of traditional events like EOFY.

In reference to Prime Day, the spokesperson said: “Any major event has a flow on effect to positive sales on as shoppers compare offers across multiple sites. […] It doesn’t seem to affect other sales events, just offers opportunities for more purchases at great prices.”

This is backed up by data. Analysing data from 500 millions shoppers and 1.4 billion visits, Salesforce found that Prime Day 2018 led to a 60 per cent year-on-year increase in revenue growth across non-Amazon e-commerce sites. The global software giant expects this growth to slow slightly to 51 per cent this year, but notes that this is still a significant increase.

“For example, Q1 2019 saw just 12 per cent revenue growth compared to Q4 2018,” the company wrote in a blog post about Prime Day.

“Over the years we know more and more shoppers will put these days in their diary, they are always chasing the most bang for their buck,” Catch’s spokesperson said.

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