Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Today Is the Second Annual Amazon Prime Day

Partial screen shot of Amazon Prime Day home page
Today is Amazon's second annual Prime Day--a shopping day designed to rival Black Friday with low prices and speedy shipping exclusively for members of the retailer's Prime program.

One goal is to attract new Prime members, who pay an annual fee for benefits such as free two-day shipping, access to audio and video entertainment, early notification of bargains, and more. As always, consumers are invited to enroll in Prime for free to try it for 30 days. The more people who try, the more who are likely to remain members after the free trial.

Another goal is to increase interest in and usage of other Amazon offerings such as Alexa, the virtual shopping assistant who's the voice of the Echo speaker. This year, the retailer is offering a number of Alexa-related specials.

Of course, Walmart is taking aim at Amazon by offering its own special deals today. Actually, some of the deals began yesterday and will continue for the week, with free shipping thrown in to combat Amazon's shipping deals for Prime members. Like Amazon, Walmart is relying on sale-priced electronics to catch the eye of shoppers, mixed in with other low-priced products.

How will Walmart do? Will Amazon Prime Day surpass the 2015 sales record? How many new Prime members will sign up--and how many will stay after the free period is over?

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