As the outlook for consumer spending cools, Amazon and Etsy are looking for new ways to entice the early birds.
Amazon, which announced its plans for a second Prime Day shopping event last month, just named Oct. 10 as the big day. And with tempting discounts on such brands as Dyson, Sony, Barbie, SharkNinja, iRobot, LG and Peloton, the company is hoping to entice consumers with plans to drop new deals as often as every five minutes. It says it is also making more personalized recommendations based on past purchases and browsing history.
Amazon has been running Prime Day shopping events since 2015 and says the one completed last June was its biggest ever. Rival retailers, including Target and Walmart, often respond with Deal Days of their own. So retail observers watch total online spending carefully, treating it as a vital sign of overall consumer health. June’s Prime Day powered a 6.1% increase in all ecommerce sales, with shoppers spending $12.7 billion in 48 hours. But that increase fell short of Adobe’s forecast of 9.5% growth, reports Bloomberg, fueling concerns that sales in the coming holiday period may be weaker than projections indicate.
Etsy just surprised observers with a first, offering $5 off every item on its site for 48 hours. “Investing in the growth of our sellers is our top priority, and testing new marketing promotions and initiatives is a key part of these efforts,” writes Ryan Scott, chief marketing officer of the Brooklyn-based ecommerce company, in a blog announcing the flash sale. “Etsy will fully fund this offer on behalf of our millions of active sellers to help give them an extra boost in sales this weekend. And by encouraging more shoppers to experience the joy of Etsy now, we hope to stay top of mind as we head into the holiday season.”
Deloitte has forecast a gain of between 3.5% and 4.6%, which would translate to a November-through-January sales total in the $1.54 to $1.56 trillion range. Bain & Company anticipates a 3% increase in the U.S., the smallest rise since 2018.