“We will be slashing prices”: Aussies kick off Prime Day

Amazon’s annual Prime Day shopping event has begun in Australia, with tens of thousands of products now available at discounted prices.

The online retailer is advertising 50 per cent off own-brand products, such as the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot smart speakers and $80 off the Kindle Paperwhite e-reader, as well as a host of discounted items from its marketplace sellers, including Nike, Adidas, Fossil, Michael Kors, Lego, Barbie, Fisher-Price, Bose, Bang & Olufsen, L’Oreal, OPI, Oribe, Fancy Feast and others.

This is the fifth annual Prime Day event for the online retail giant, and the second Prime Day to feature local deals for Australian shoppers since Amazon launched in Australia at the end of 2017.

Recent years have seen the rise of rival online shopping events, such as Alibaba’s Singles Day in China, which reportedly generated US$30.8 billion in sales last year, far outstripping the US$1.5 billion generated by marketplace sellers on Amazon in 2018.

That figure, provided by Amazon, does not include Prime Day sales made by the e-commerce giant itself, although items like the Echo smart speaker range are typically some of the best sellers – and most heavily discounted.

It is too soon to start calculating sales figures for Prime Day 2019, but given the event will last for 48 hours this year – it will actually run for a total of 65 hours in Australia, thanks to the time difference – compared to 36 hours in 2018, many experts are predicting the total to far surpass last year’s figure.

Marketing technology and services firm IgnitionOne is estimating Amazon will generate sales of US$6.1 billion this year, which would be a US$2 billion improvement over last year, according to a report by Fortune.

Local sellers such as homewares brands Canningvale and Astivita are hoping to grab a portion of that for themselves, offering significant discounts on products after experiencing a strong sales uplift from Prime Day in 2018, the retailers said in a statement issued by Amazon.

“Canningvale is excited to be participating in Prime Day again this year after seeing almost a 500 per cent uplift in sales last year,” Canningvale’s managing director Jordan Prainato said in a statement.

“Prime Day has become one of the biggest shopping events in the northern hemisphere and in time, we expect it to be no different for Australia. This year we will once again be offering great prices on a range of luxury homewares available on Amazon Australia,” he said.

Astivita’s CEO Joseph Mizikovsky said: “We will be slashing the prices of our best selling items lower than last year and putting on sale a whole new range of tapware, all available exclusively through Amazon.”

Global software provider Salesforce is predicting retailers in the luxury and homewares categories will see the biggest boost from Prime Day.

Prime Day is seen as a way for Amazon to not only generate sales, but encourage more people to become Prime members, who typically go on to become its most frequent and biggest spending shoppers.

In addition to the discounts, which are only available to Prime members, the company this year hosted a Prime Day Concert, featuring 10-Grammy Award-winning artist Taylor Swift. The concert, which occurred on July 11, was available only on Prime Video.

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