Prime Day Delayed Until At Least August Due to Coronavirus Issues

Amazon is pushing Prime Day from mid-July to sometime in August or later, Reuters is reporting, due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, further impacting already distressed third-party sellers as restrictions on processing nonessential orders through Fulfillment by Amazon are just now being eased.

Reporting on an internal note, Reuters said the decision to delay Prime Day will leave Amazon with 5 million extra devices including tablets and Echo smart speakers. Many sellers have almost certainly begun preparations for this year’s Prime Day, including inventory planning of popular items and promotional efforts.

“We probably have to promote sooner, which will be difficult if we’re capacity constrained,” General Counsel David Zapolsky wrote in notes from a meeting of Amazon executives, according to Reuters. The notes said the company was projecting a worst-case loss of $300 million impact, with $100 million being more likely.

While Prime Day is certainly a boon for Amazon, with order records being broken every year, it’s also become a gold mine for 3P sellers so a delay is sure to cause some pain. CEO Jeff Bezos said small business sellers raked in more than $2 billion in sales during Prime Day 2019. Analysts estimated the total haul at $6 billion to $6.2 billion.

Prime Day 2019 saw 175 million items purchased by the 100 million-plus Prime members over two days in 18 countries, according to Amazon, eclipsing its 2018 Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales combined.

Third-party sellers made up more than 53% of paid units sold on Amazon’s marketplace in Q4 2019, according to Statista, up from 40% five years earlier, and down slightly from a high of 54% in Q1 of last year.

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