We are now about seven weeks past when we expected to see Amazon Prime Day take place in 2020, had things gone as they normally do. As you likely know, 2020 has had its own plan for many things, and Prime Day was one of the affected events, and the latest set of rumors is saying that it should be taking place sometime in October instead.
Taking into account the fact that in the past few years, Black Friday has expanded from just a single day shopping event at the end of November and that it's now basically a month-long adventure, Prime Day could have a huge impact on the rest of the holiday shopping season this year. With a huge event like Amazon's Prime Day taking place just a few weeks before the start of the "Black Friday season", things could be really interesting this year.
From product availability constraints to shipping delays, there are several factors that will play into how you do your holiday shopping this year, so let's break a few of them down.
The two events are not as distinct as before
When you have three months between Prime Day and Black Friday, they feel like two very separate things that are taking place. When there are just a few weeks between them it feels as though they are almost the same. Prime Day is more about impulse purchases and finding some things on sale that you may not have realized you even wanted where Black Friday tends to be more about considered, researched purchases that are often gifts.
Since we are likely to have less than 8 full weeks between Prime Day and Black Friday, one would assume that the shopping habits are going to be a little different this year. For most, that means there are only a few paychecks coming in between the events, and that could limit the funds that you have available to spend during each time frame.
People may be a little less likely to treat themselves to something new with the holidays being so close, and others may be waiting out Black Friday deals instead and fearing that the Prime Day deals won't be as great as what's to come in short order.
Amazon may not be able to release new products
Amazon normally has a big fall event where it announces a number of refreshed and new products. Given the timing of when Prime Day is likely to take place, it could make it hard for Amazon to have sufficient stock for the new units, and we are already seeing low quantities available for the existing hardware. Prime Day has typically always been the best time to buy all of Amazon's hardware, and that could be much different this year.
Less time to restock products between Prime Day and Black Friday
With Prime Day normally happening in July and Black Friday in November, there are at least 3 full months that retailers and vendors have to restock products. Now, in 2020 we are talking about potentially 4 to 6 weeks of time between the two events. We've already seen many products be out of stock for months at a time during the pandemic, and it's not likely that it will magically change within the next few months.
This means that as a shopper you should be buying things that are likely to sell out as quickly as you can. Things like the Nintendo Switch, Chromebooks, webcams, and so many other random items have been nearly impossible to find since April 2020. At this point, the longer you wait to buy it (if you can find it in stock), the slimmer your chances of having it to give as a gift become.
Shipping delays are slowing things down
While Amazon has been working hard at building its delivery network over the past few years, nearly 40% of the "last mile" deliveries are completed by USPS, which can pose a big problem for ths upcoming influx in orders. Amazon consistently boasts each year about the millions of products that were sold, which means that there is likely to be millions of more boxes that need to be delivered, and that's on top of all the other holiday shipping people will be doing.
We already know that USPS is backed up and those delays could have a large impact on things. This means that you will need to be planning better for what's happening, and expect that there will be delays. We've seen USPS packages sit at locations for over a week, so the best thing you can do is be patient, and understand that things will take longer to reach you this year.
If Prime Day causes another bottleneck that the Postal Service can't recover from and clear out before Black Friday, that could mean that the holiday shopping season which has previously ran up until basically the very end of December may now be ending closer to the beginning of December to guarantee you can get the items you order.
There's likely to be less in-person shopping this year
With COVID-19 outbreaks still happening, it's likely that more people will be forced to shop from home this year. Retailers are doing everything that can be done to keep crowds in stores at a minimum and keep people safe, and part of this will probably be a bigger push to online shopping than we've seen in the past.
Prime Day has always been an online event, but several retailers tend to join in on the fun, and how that's handled now will affect how Black Friday shopping takes place a few weeks later. It's unlikely that we will see in-store doorbusters this year, and in fact many retailers are already stating that the physical store locations will be closed on Thanksgiving this year for ths first time in a few years.
Will Prime Day or Black Friday be the big winner?
It's too early to tell at this point whether Prime Day or Black Friday will be the bigger shopping event. Amazon has yet to even confirm Prime Day's existence this year, so it's unclear whether or not we will even see the event happen. If we had to make any educated guesses it would be that Prime Day is more important to the success of holiday shopping this year than it ever has been before. With the way all the cards are stacked right now, Amazon really needs to come with some great deals, enhanced shipping plans, and product availiability in order to impress everyone.
Luckily, if Prime day is a bust, Black Friday follows pretty closely behind, so there will be a chance to score all the gifts and gadgets that you need then.
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