The second Amazon Prime Day starts at midnight tonight, but you probably already knew that.
The company has been making a big push to make sure this year’s Prime Day, with more than 100,000 deals expected for Amazon Prime members, is even grander than the original.
The first Prime Day last July was the biggest single sales day in Amazon’s history as customers ordered 34.4 million items at a clip of 398 per second. The event brought in between $375 million and $400 million in revenue for Amazon, and this year’s event could double that number. Despite Prime Day’s commercial success, some users felt the sales didn’t live up to the hype and complained about selection.
This year, Amazon says, the deals will be bigger and better. Customers in the U.S., U.K., Spain, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, Canada, Belgium and Austria will have access to deals across nearly all departments and categories.
Deals this year will include close to twice as many discounted TVs as Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. Amazon Echo, Echo Dot or Amazon Tap owners will have access to special Alexa deals. In addition, Amazon said twice as many small business sellers will participate in Prime Day this year.
The highest selling items in the U.S. last Prime Day were toys, mobile device cases and pet products.
In the lead up to Prime Day, Amazon has been offering special deals every day for the past week. Some of today’s deals an HP notebook computer for $300, down from $800; wireless bluetooth headphones for $80, down from $135; and a Lumo Lift fitness tracker for $50, down from $100.
In another change this year, customers will be able sort through deals by categories and track individual deals through Amazon’s app. Prime members complained last year that many deals were snapped up so quickly that they didn’t get a chance to buy what they wanted.
Prime Day will offer several different types of deals, some of which will last all day and others that will be gone in minutes. Spotlight deals are big discounts on popular brands, and the deal only lasts until Amazon runs out of stock. These items will sell out fast.
Lightning deals last for a specific amount of time, usually a couple of hours. Prime savings and sales deals will run all day.
In addition to its success as a revenue driver, Prime Day helps bring more people into the Prime tent. The original Prime Day brought in hundreds of thousands of new members worldwide, the most of any single-day event according to Business Insider.
Prime now has 63 million members in the U.S., the first time a majority of U.S. Amazon customers have been Prime members, according to a new study by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.
CIRP estimates that the average Amazon Prime member spends $1,200 per year with the company, compared to about $500 a year on average for Amazon customers who don’t belong to the membership program.
Shopping holidays like Prime Day are becoming more common as more companies look to drum up Black Friday-like sales multiple times throughout the year. Prime Day has been likened to Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s “Singles Day,” which dates back to 2009. The annual shopping celebration is every Nov. 11, and last year it led to $14.3 billion in sales.
Walmart plans to go head-to-head with Prime Day by offering discounts and free shipping with no minimum purchase price all week.
For $99 a year, Prime customers get free two-day shipping on more than 20 million items. Membership also includes access to video and music streaming, unlimited photo storage, free e-books and early access to some sales. Amazon has also started offering a monthly Prime membership and a streaming-only option.