SEATTLE – Amazon’s Prime Day event is well underway, while Target, Walmart and Best Buy are capitalizing on the online traffic with sales of their own.

The Prime Day event is usually held in July to encourage more sales during the slow summer months, but the delay to October gave the e-commerce giant time to return to normal delivery times after the shipping issues caused during the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Over the past few years, Prime Day had evolved into a Black Friday-in-July event, with many retailers offering competitive promotions,” said Andy Mantis, head of data insights for 1010data, a provider of analytical intelligence to retail and consumer markets. “However, this year with Prime Day in October and more limited in-store shopping due to COVID-19, it may signal an early start to holiday shopping in advance of the traditional Black Friday and Cyber Monday kick-offs.”

Mantis said many top retailers have lined up offerings for this year’s event and, given the potential for less discretionary spending, not getting an early enough start could have an impact on the holiday season success of many retailers.

Coresight Research, an advisory and research firm specializing in retail and technology, conducted a survey of 416 respondents on Oct. 6 and found that seven out of 10 respondents expected to either purchase or browse during Amazon’s Prime Day promotions.

“Our survey found some 26.7% were planning to purchase during Amazon’s shopping event, while around one in 10 has such intention during the other rival events,” said Deborah Weinswig, Coresight Research CEO and founder.

Research company eMarketer is forecasting that Prime Day will generate $9.91 billion in worldwide sales for Amazon, up 43% from last year’s event, saying that a major force behind the anticipated success of Prime Day 2020 is this year’s growth in Amazon Prime members.

Home furnishings companies offering deals during Prime Day include brands such as Modway, Lane Home Furnishings, Walker Edison and Nathan James with offers of 20% off or more, along with 25% off deals on mattresses and mattress toppers from brands like Serta, Zinus and Tempur-pedic.

“Retailers that start early will get a read on what consumers are shopping for compared with years past. Early reads will allow them to chase goods for December sales and act quickly to sell the slower selling categories where they have built inventory,” said Michael Brown, partner at Kearney, a global strategy and management consulting firm.

Brown said that if retailers don’t act now, they stand to lose early data on consumer shopping patterns and sentiment. Retailers need to use advanced analytics as never before, according to Brown, in order to proactively monitor competitors, suppliers and consumer response and react quickly to what will likely be a roller coaster of a holiday season.

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