Here comes Amazon’s Prime Day: What investors should know

Brace yourself for a sales surge.

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This article was originally published on All figures quoted in US dollars unless otherwise stated. (NASDAQ: AMZN) announced on Wednesday morning that its member-only shopping event, Prime Day, is scheduled for June 21 and June 22 -- about a month earlier than usual.

The two-day shopping event will feature "epic deals and the best savings Prime has to offer," the e-commerce giant said in a press release about the event.

As it's sure to provide a sales lift for Amazon, investors have good reason to be excited about Prime Day.

Prime Day 2021: The details

Kicking off at 3:00 a.m. EDT on Monday, June 21, Prime Day 2021 will feature more than 2 million deals. These deals, of course, will cover every shopping category, including the company's own digital services.

The event will take place in "the U.S., the U.K., the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Spain, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Portugal, Netherlands, Mexico, Luxembourg, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, China, Brazil, Belgium, Austria, and Australia," Amazon said.

Not one to miss out on the attention Prime Day brings to its website ahead of the event, Amazon is already rolling out some pre-Prime Day deals.

A major catalyst

Last year, Prime Day was shifted from its typical July time frame to October due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But despite economic headwinds, the event still provided a major lift for Amazon. The company said Prime Day 2020 was a record-breaking event, with small and medium businesses on its e-commerce platform seeing a 60% increase in sales from Prime Day 2019. 

Sales of Amazon's own devices benefited, too. The Echo Dot smart speaker, for instance, was the best-selling item. Overall, "millions" of Alexa-compatible devices were sold during the event.

Good timing

A June debut for this year's Prime Day is smart scheduling on Amazon's part. As Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky said during the company's first-quarter earnings call, the date change means Prime Day won't overlap with a busy vacation season in July.

But there's more to it. Moving the shopping event to June will also mean it falls in Q2 instead of Q3. Amazon is up against a tough comparison in the second quarter of 2020 when e-commerce sales surged as many people around the world were simultaneously quarantining at home. Having Prime Day in June will help make Amazon's Q2 comparison easier.

Despite the tough comparison, Amazon still expects the momentum in its business and Prime Day's shift to June to lead to sharp year-over-year growth in Q2 sales. Management's outlook calls for second-quarter revenue to be between $110 billion and $116 billion, up 24% to 30% year over year.

This article was originally published on All figures quoted in US dollars unless otherwise stated.

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Daniel Sparks has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and has recommended Amazon. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has recommended the following options: long January 2022 $1,920 calls on Amazon and short January 2022 $1,940 calls on Amazon. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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