The "Black Friday in July" phenomenon had been slowly gaining traction for a few years when, in mid-summer 2015, Amazon made it official. Unfortunately, after a hyped-up announcement declaring its first annual Prime Day sale to be "better than Black Friday," Amazon fell completely flat. But can the online retail giant make it up to consumers in 2016?
The biggest problem with last year's Prime Day was Amazon's inability to deliver on the doorbuster deals it promised. The fabled $75 TV was live for all of eight seconds before it was completely sold out, as were all of the other major deals Amazon had been promoting in the weeks leading up to Prime Day 2015.
But last year's failure hasn't stopped Amazon from putting the same gusto into their 2016 Prime Day promotion -- far from it. The first Prime Day might have been a disappointment for consumers, but it wasn't a failure for Amazon: all the hype got shoppers in a frenzy, and Amazon sales spiked 93 percent as a result. For Prime Day 2016, Amazon is apparently stepping up its game when it comes to stock. A press release from the company claims its TV stock is going to be nearly twice what it usually has for both Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined, so TV-hungry shoppers might actually be able to score a cheap set this time around.
However, even Greg Greeley, Vice President of Amazon Prime, is being cautious about the company's ability to fulfill customer demand on July 12: “Even with this massive selection we know many of the Prime Day offers will sell out, so members should download theAmazon shopping app to receive notifications on their favorite deals."
Whether or not Amazon truly delivers on the promise of Prime Day, July 12 is still likely to boast some serious deals if you don't limit your shopping to Amazon. As we reported last year, the best thing about Prime Day 2015 was the response from other retailers. Walmart took 20 to 50 percent off thousands of items, and offered free shipping on orders over $35. Macy's countered Prime Day with no minimum free shipping and crazy site-wide discounts that were available long after Amazon's best steals were nothing but a distant memory. Best Buy tried to beat Amazon to the punch with their Tuesday TechDay sale, keeping many of those sale items live through Prime Day.
We'd be surprised not to see similar sales pop up this year, cementing Black Friday (er, Tuesday?) in July for years to come. If you're not already a Prime member, sign up for a free trial now, and cancel it within 30 days if you're not impressed. Personally, I love my Prime membership so much that I honestly can't imagine my life without it, so I recommend giving it a shot now so you can at least check out what Prime Day has to offer.
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