At this time of year, we’re normally recovering from a busy Amazon Prime Day in July while looking ahead to the Black Friday and holiday sales yet to come. But this year has been anything but normal, and your shopping habits are probably going to have to adapt, too.
July came and went without a Prime Day and rumors now point to October for the rescheduled event which is bound to change how Amazon approaches the event and how other retailers will position their own Black Friday sales that will follow shortly after. Given that Black Friday has basically taken over November in recent years, a huge event like Amazon’s Prime Day taking place just a few weeks before the start of the “Black Friday season” means things could be really interesting this year.
We considered a bunch of factors, from event timing to shipping delays, product constraints, and holiday gift planning, and it looks like the best time to buy is going to be Prime Day. Let’s look at why.
Amazon will want to capture shoppers’ dollars, so we could see the best prices early
With a potential Prime Day event brushing up against Black Friday territory, we can assume that Amazon will want to offer some enticing deals to get shoppers to pull out their credit cards. Shoppers are conditioned to hold fire in the fall with any big purchases and wait until Black Friday deals begin. The e-commerce giant will know full well that it needs to offer exceptional deals to overcome this.
If you’ve been waiting for deals from Amazon, then you can certainly take advantage of Prime Day and perhaps snag some bargains that won’t be bested by Black Friday sales.
Secure some early holiday deals
In a similar vein, the late timing of Prime Day means that you can get a headstart on your holiday shopping. A lot of shoppers in the U.S. use the November sales to get stocked up with gifts for the holidays, and getting started on this is a good idea if you want to spread that cost out over a longer period of time (and a few more paychecks).
It’s also better to be safe than sorry when it comes to holiday gifts, especially this year, so shopping early can help you avoid disappointment. You’ll get a great price during Prime Day and have that product put away before everyone else rushes out in late November and scrambles to get the same thing for what may end up being a worse price.
Retailers might not have time to restock between Amazon Prime Day and Black Friday
Every Amazon Prime Day results in product shortages. There’s pent up demand for various items, prices drop steeply during the event, and stuff sells out. When a deal really lands with customers, it can be weeks before a good supply is available again.
That’s not usually a problem in the summer as there’s plenty of time for retailers to source more products and manufacturers to meet those orders ahead of fall sales, but a delayed Prime Day might throw a wrench into those usual supply chain movements. If products are still in short supply through November, hefty discounts and huge promos may be unsustainable for certain products. That means if you miss something super popular during Prime Day, it might not be available during Black Friday.
Avoid shipping delays
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We’ve already seen disruption in shipping this year, which is probably one of the factors that influenced Amazon’s decision to postpone its annual shopping event.
Amazon has a great delivery network, but a lot of the time the last leg of the journey your products take is completed by USPS. Shipping times always slip during Prime Day, but if there’s a huge bottleneck of orders rolling right into Black Friday season then the Postal Service might not be able to catch up fully before another influx of orders from all manner of retailers floods in. Those sorts of delays just before the holiday season could mean products don’t reach you in good time for gift giving.
It’s also worth noting that if you’re ordering gifts to your own home in order to wrap them and send them on to family and friends, your shipping times are immediately doubled and any delays are going to impact you twice.
In-person events this fall are likely to be limited
The COVID-19 crisis is not going to be resolved in the next couple of months so it’s more than likely that the majority of holiday shopping will be completed from home this year. That means Black Friday’s traditional in-store events and ‘doorbuster’ deals are going to be severely limited. Retailers can’t be encouraging large crowds and lines of people in the current climate so don’t be surprised if all of the promotions later this year are available online with more online exclusives than ever before. It’s also possible that some brick-and-mortar stores will be closed on Thanksgiving this year for the first time in recent memory.
Because Black Friday deals will undoubtedly be pushed online, shipping times and product availability will be impacted which could add to the delay in getting your orders to you. With Amazon Prime Day taking place in advance of Black Friday season, you could sneak in there and score some deals before everyone else starts panic-buying come November.
Will you shop more or less during a delayed Amazon Prime Day?
Since pretty much every retailer takes part, Black Friday is still going to be a bigger shopping event than Amazon Prime Day. However, Amazon sells pretty much everything so you could stand to save on all of the things you’d usually buy during Black Friday before November even arrives.
With the way things have panned out this year, Amazon only needs to come out with some great deals and enhanced shipping plans to get people shopping earlier than usual this fall. Will you be one of them or do you plan to hold out and chance your luck for better Black Friday offers?
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