Amazon.com is gearing up for conducting its Prime Day — the sixth year in a row – to attract maximum online buyers on the e-commerce platform, CNBC reported.
The two-day online shopping festival kicks off on Tuesday, pushing consumers to search out deals more than a month before the holiday shopping season traditionally begins.
The e-commerce company pushed back its annual discount shopping event from mid-July to October 13-14 after the coronavirus pandemic generated strain on its fulfillment and logistics operations.
Amazon worked to return conditions in its warehouses to normal by prioritizing shipments of essential goods. Amazon brought on 175,000 new warehouse and delivery workers to handle the load. Amazon kept more than 70 percent of the employees it added, signaling that online orders continue to flood in long after the panic buying tapered off.
The online retail company has expanded its warehouse footprint, with the goal of growing its global network square footage by 50 percent in 2020, up from a 15 percent increase in 2019. Amazon said it’s on track to open 33 new fulfillment centers in the U.S. this year. It has also added a slew of new delivery stations, which allow Amazon to get closer to customers and speed up deliveries.
Amazon opened 158 last-mile delivery stations between March and October, more than any other type of facility, according to MWPVL International, a supply chain and logistics consulting firm.
Amazon will need the extra space in order to weather the back-to-back rush of Prime Day and the holiday shopping season, as well as to prevent the delays and out-of-stock notices that rankled the company back in March.
Amazon’s Prime Day secures new Prime subscribers, allows Amazon to promote its products and services and provides a sales boost, normally in the middle of the year.
Amazon doesn’t share Prime Day sales volume. JPMorgan forecast this year’s holiday shopping season event could bring in revenue of $7.5 billion, up 42 percent from its 2019 estimates. eMarketer estimated Prime Day sales could hit close to $10 billion.
Amazon said it has reduced its own retail product ordering to accommodate more products from third-party sellers in FBA warehouses.
Amazon earlier announced it was on course to invest $18 billion this year to help businesses sell to customers, including investments in logistics, tools, services, programs, and people.
Amazon has launched more than 135 free tools and services to help sellers grow their sales in Amazon’s store.
The company will provide more than 500,000 U.S. small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) currently selling on Amazon with online selling guidance, education, and support, and the company plans to onboard an additional 100,000 U.S. businesses as new sellers in its store.
Amazon also announced plans to invest an additional $100 million to help small businesses around the world increase their sales and reach new customers this Prime Day and throughout the holiday season. Last year during Prime Day, third-party sellers – mostly SMBs – exceeded $2 billion in global sales.