Amazon Makes It Official: The Prime Early Access Sale Is Slated For October 11-12

This week, Amazon confirmed rumors of a second Prime Day-like sales event titled the Prime Early Access Sale with a press release announcing the event. As previously reported, the Prime Early Access Sale will take place for 48 hours on October 11th and 12th.

The Prime Early Access Sale marks the first time the e-commerce superpower will hold two major sales events in one calendar year. However, it’s not the first time Amazon has held a major sales event in October, as Prime Day 2020 took place from October 13th to 14th after being pushed back from its usual July date as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

After years of wondering if or when Amazon would look to go beyond Prime Day for annual sales holidays, the Early Access Sale appears to answer those questions. But what exactly is the Prime Early Access Sale, and what can Amazon sellers expect?

Part Prime Day, Part Black Friday?

Perhaps the most notable part of the announcement outside of the announcement itself, is it appears to serve as a kickoff for the quickly approaching holiday season.

“We are so excited to help Prime members kick off the holiday season with Amazon’s new Prime Early Access Sale—an exclusive opportunity for members to get deep discounts on top brands we know they are looking for this time of year. And members can start enjoying exclusive Prime benefits and offers now, plus find gift ideas for the family with our holiday gift guides and this year’s Toys We Love list.”

Jamil Ghani, vice president of Amazon Prime

A significant chunk of the press release focuses on kicking off the holiday season with access to thousands of deals exclusively for Prime members. While Black Friday has long served as the unofficial beginning of the hectic holiday season, the Prime Early Access Sale seeks to get the party started six weeks before Black Friday.

Additionally, shopping for the holidays a little earlier this year may have additional benefits beyond saving a few bucks during the promotional period. Due to the uncertainty brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing supply chain disruption that continues to have ripple effects, crossing items off your shopping checklist over a longer period helps smooth out the always-chaotic holiday blitz starting on Black Friday and lasting for weeks.

More Money, More Benefits

This year, Amazon announced a price hike for the first time in years for their signature Prime subscription for customers, with rates going from $13 per month to $15, and $119 annually to $139.

The Prime Early Access Sale indicates the subscription’s price hike comes with additional benefits, so the roughly 160 million Amazon Prime subscribers get more bang while spending more bucks.

One of the most ballyhooed benefits recently added to the Prime membership is GrubHub+, with rewards and savings on the popular food delivery service. While this may not appear like news for Amazon sellers, the additional benefits outside of the Amazon marketplace for Prime members only makes the consumer base grow even larger. With benefits such as the aforementioned GrubHub+, Audible, Prime Video, Amazon Music Unlimited and countless more perks, the Prime membership base is strong and strengthens the Amazon marketplace further.

Full Steam Ahead Into 2023

Although the event’s existence had been hinted about, the official announcement adds intrigue to what should be an interesting Q4. After two years of uncertainty and constant disruption, things are as close to “normal” as they’ve been in years.

While concerns about consumer spending linger internationally, the Prime Early Access Sale and subsequent holiday season provide a worthy source of optimism for Amazon sellers looking to close out 2022 on a positive note.

Even if the time for you to prepare for the Prime Early Access Sale is ticking, it goes without saying that sellers should not shrug off tactics to maximize visibility and sales during a period of skyrocketing sales.

Because it’s the first-ever Prime Early Access Sale, it’s difficult to know what to expect. However, if Prime Day is any indicator, this has the potential to be absolutely massive.

Amazon Prime Day sales by year, since 2015.

For Prime-eligible products, sellers can submit a Prime Exclusive Discount or Coupon before October 11, 2022 to participate in the Prime Early Access Sale.

Any measure sellers can take to put their product in a position for success should be taken, as a wave of sales during the event is sure to put you in *ahem* prime position to ride a wave of sales through the holiday season.

Consider what quick opportunities you can take to refine your business, from pricing to your product description to advertising. Now is the perfect time to check out tools like Competitor Intelligence, Viral Launch’s tool that gives you unparalleled insight into your competition so you can out-smart the competition and stop leaving dollars on the table.

When is Amazon Prime Day 2021?

Tucked away in Amazon’s Q1 Earnings Call was an announcement of important intel regarding Amazon Prime Day 2021.

Unfortunately, Amazon did not announce an exact date for Amazon sellers and customers alike to circle on the calendar. But Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky did drop some hints and key information about Amazon’s signature sales event.

“I will remind you that Prime Day has been scheduled for later in Q2, and we’ll have more on that as the quarter unfolds.” This would mean Prime Day would take place in April, May, or June.

With April in our rear-view and roughly a week into May, it’s highly unlikely Amazon would make a surprise Prime Day without giving sellers a few weeks in advance to prepare for the massive wave of sales that come with Prime Day.

For that reason, we’d imagine that an official announcement regarding the date of Amazon Prime Day 2021 is coming soon. At the present time, we’d recommend planning on Prime Day kicking off in mid-late June.

Additionally, Olsavsky mentioned Prime Day 2021 is slated to be a two-day event. As Amazon did for Prime Day 2020, he stated it will heavily emphasize small businesses.

“Another popular benefit of Prime membership is Prime Day. And we are excited to announce that we will hold the two-day savings event during the second quarter. Prime Day is also a great opportunity for our selling partners to reach more customers and will make supporting small businesses a big focus again this year.”

Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky

When is Prime Day typically?

Since its initial launch in 2015, Amazon Prime Day has been held in mid-late July with one exception. In 2020, the mid-summer sales event was postponed until October, making one of the world’s largest shopping days the unofficial kickoff to the holiday season.

The usual mid-July date marks the anniversary of Amazon.com going live in 1995. Known for massive markdowns and discounted deals, it’s estimated that sales on Amazon surpassed $10 billion over Prime Day 2020.

Over the years, Prime Day has grown into one of the largest shopping days globally.

In summary, the tidbits of information gleaned from Olavsky’s comments certainly deserve much attention. With a blockbuster Q1 behind us, the return of a mid-summer Prime Day marks another reason to believe Amazon sellers can keep the sales momentum going.

For Amazon sellers positioned to take advantage of Prime Day, the potential for record-breaking sales is stronger than ever.

UPDATE: In order to ensure your inventory is properly stocked for Prime Day, Amazon advised sellers to the following countries by these dates:
June 1: Australia
June 6: United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Turkey
June 7: United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia
June 13: Japan

As more information becomes available, we’ll be sure to update. Lastly, feel free to let us know how you feel about Amazon Prime Day 2021 in June in the comments!

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