Amazon’s annual Prime Day started out as a 24-hour online shopping event that saw the online retailer slash prices and offer once-a-year deals on select items for Prime members—a consumer group that’s currently around 100 million strong.
But in 2017, the retailer supersized the event to 30 hours. And 2018’s Prime Day, which happens later this month, could really be called Prime Day and a Half (but alas, not such a catchy name).
This year’s Prime Day—which is arguably the most hotly anticipated retail promotion in the United States—will run 36 hours, the company announced yesterday, starting July 16 at 3 p.m. Eastern time and ending at 3 a.m. Eastern time on July 18.
The deal “day” is global, so customers from Mexico City to Mumbai will be able to access the site’s many discounts and promotions. The event will also include deals on products from U.S. Whole Foods Market stores.
Also new this year is a secret promotion that will send giant Amazon boxes (which the retailer calls Smile Boxes because of the swoop-shape smile in its logo) to Prime customers in different cities.
Amazon explains the promotion: “In advance of Prime Day, giant Smile Boxes will make their way across land and sea to major cities around the world. Customers in New York City, Los Angeles, London, Tokyo, and Milan will be delighted when each box opens to reveal an unforgettable event, in a nod to the unparalleled benefits that come with a Prime membership including music, video, gaming, and more.”
Prime-crazed customers can watch the unboxing live on this Amazon page (dates and times are listed there).
The retailer also uses the event to launch products exclusively for Prime members, before dropping them on the larger world. This year’s so-called Prime Day Launches (a mixed bag, for sure) will include the Alexa-enabled Delta Trinsic Touch2O voice-activated faucet; the Moto G6 64GB Android phone; the Coleman RoadTrip LXE portable propane gas grill; a Fingerlings Light Up Unicorn Mackenzie; and an Audible Original production called Hi Bob! where Bob Newhart sits down with special guests including Sarah Silverman, Will Ferrell, Lisa Kudrow, Jimmy Kimmel, Judd Apatow, and Conan O’Brien.
Whole Foods discounts will include 10 percent off hundreds of sale items throughout Whole Foods Market stores, along with deeper discounts on “select popular products,” according to the press release.
And—of course!—Amazon has invented a way to keep shoppers completely addicted for the entire 36 hours of sales. Watch A Deal, a feature on the Amazon app, lets consumers preview, track, and shop limited-time offers, aptly named Lightning Deals.
(Photo courtesy of Amazon)
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