Update July 15: Prime Day has started. Find all the best deals and key news below:
Amazon's started off rocky last year, with the world's biggest online retailer offering customers a crashing website and app. The company aims to do better this year with a supersized fifth annual Prime Day, coming next month.
The sale will start on Amazon officially announced Monday.just after midnight Pacific Time and run for 48 hours, the longest Prime Day sale ever, up from 36 hours the year before,
"We worked super hard throughout the year to ensure that we're prepared for this year," Cem Sibay, vice president of Prime, said in an interview, after acknowledging somewith how the sale began in 2018.
There will be more than 1 million deals available worldwide, which is the same number Amazon offered last year. The company had routinely amped up this figure as a way of showing the growth of Prime Day. Sibay explained that customers' feedback hasn't been that there aren't enough deals, but rather they wanted more and better ways to find them, while also seeing new deals as often as possible.
"We've really focused on deal freshness and deal discovery," he said about this year's sale.
Prime Day started in 2015 as a quirky 20th birthday party Amazon threw for its most loyal customers. It's turned into a wildly successful sales day for Amazon, showing both the company's huge influence and 100 million-strong Cyber Monday, which isn't a Prime-exclusive sale. (The third biggest sales day each year is usually Black Friday.). In recent years, Prime Day has broken Amazon's one-day sales record, though that record is then broken later each year by
The company has since used Prime Day as another perk -- along with unlimited two-day shipping and Prime Video -- as a way of convincing shoppers to renew their annual $119 memberships and enticing new customers to join the program.
In another effort to keep customers part of Prime, Amazon is also spending heavily to transitionin the US from two days to one, with over 10 million items already available for these faster deliveries in the continental US.
Also, at a time when the focus on the tech industry routinely lands on privacy concerns and worries about monopolistic practices, Prime Day gives Amazon a chance to draw the public's attention to the things that made its services popular in the first place: low prices, huge selection and fast shipping.
Last year's Prime Day included a livestreamed Ariana Grande concert. Sibay said the company will significantly expand the entertainment elements of this year's sale, though didn't offer many details. He added that there will be new product launches, celebrity tie-ins and deals on big-brand products.
The sale will be available for Prime members in the US, UK, Spain, Singapore, the Netherlands, Mexico, Luxembourg, Japan, Italy, India, Germany, France, China, Canada, Belgium, Austria, Australia and, for the first time, the United Arab Emirates.
"We're confident that there's a great experience waiting for each and every Prime member this year," Sibay said.
The story originally ran earlier.
Update June 25 at 4:51 a.m. PT: To include additional background.