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Amazon Prime Day 2020: what to expect

Amazon Prime Day 2020 is set to kick off on Tuesday. Dan Howley joins The Final Round panel to break down what to expect from Amazon Prime Day as it starts at the beginning of holiday shopping season and what it means for the company as it faces anti-trust allegations.

Video Transcript

SEANA SMITH: Well, speaking of the broader market, let's get to one of the big winners in today's moves. We mentioned the movement that we're seeing in Amazon today. The stock up just over 5% right now. Amazon Prime kicking off tonight at midnight. Now the event runs for the next 48 hours. We're expecting discounts of more than a million products.

Our very own Dan Howley is joining us now for a little bit more on what we can expect. And Dan, once again, another year. We have lots of hype surrounding Prime Day. How big of a Prime Day, I guess, are we expecting this year?

DAN HOWLEY: Well, Prime Day, according to Amazon, last year for 2019 was larger than both its Black Friday and its Cyber Monday combined. So you can imagine what sales will be like. But you got to take into account it usually happens during the doldrums of the summer, when there's not a lot of buying really going on.

This kind of kicking off the holiday shopping season, so it may do even better than that, just because more people may have pent-up demand. As far as the kinds of sales that we're going to see, Amazon is touting, obviously, number one, its own products. That's really how they kind of get you sucked into the Amazon ecosystem.

Some of those include the third generation Echo Dot. That's going to $18.99. And there's also some TVs that are Amazon powered that are going to start at $79. So that's incredible. They also have deals on clothing, whether that's Levi's or Calvin Klein, as well as on tech.

The Nintendo Switch, one of the big sellers throughout the kind of pandemic, has sales out of here, 36% off a 12-month Switch online family membership. It's not too expensive for a year. But 36% off, I'm not going to sneeze at that.

And then as much as 30% off on a-- sorry-- 33% off on select titles and 30% off on TV from the likes of Samsung and Sony. So there's really some great deals to be had here. And that's what we know about so far.

MELODY HAHM: Dan, I'm on the Amazon Prime site right now. There are already early Prime deals. Of course, they all happen to be Kindles, the Ring, everything that's part of the Amazon ecosystem.

And then, just thinking about the other retailers that have been competing in the space, right, whether it's eBay, Walmart, Target, Macy's, Gap, Chewy, StitchFix, every other retailer happens to be joining in this game, right? We saw that last year. We saw that for the last couple of years.

Why didn't we just acknowledge that promotions are kind of ongoing forever, right? Especially during this period of time, do you feel as though this Prime Day framework will continue to force other retailers to join in on these price slashings coming forward?

DAN HOWLEY: Yeah, I mean, anytime Prime Day comes up, you're going to see the competitors do exactly the same thing, just to try to steal some of that thunder away. Amazon didn't really run ads for Prime Day on television originally.

The first Prime Day was pretty much just awful. It was basically toilet paper and toothpaste. And we were like, I guess, that's cool, thanks. I do need that, but it's not what I was looking for as far as big ticket items. And they've since changed that.

But it's, you know, it's kind of worth noting, as you did, about their products being out there. They have come under scrutiny, obviously, for antitrust. And one of the issues is their speakers, the Echo speakers and the Echo devices, and that the fact that they're sold below cost, they're usually on sale, or they're on sale often.

And some of the lawmakers in the house were looking at that and saying, look, you're making an unfair field here by kind of subsidizing the price of these goods with the idea that consumers would then pick up the other side of that with more sales overall on Prime Day. So, you know, the fact that their stuff is there on sale right now, that is not a mistake. They do that to really just suck you in.

DAN ROBERTS: Dan, to play off Melody's point about might this pressure other retailers to slash their prices, the question I have here, as you pointed out, it's a different time of year than it used to be. It's very close to the holiday shopping season. And so as a result, I wonder if this Prime Day, here in October, will kind of cannibalize Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

You know, we've talked so much on this program, especially in the pandemic, about whether all the things, all the products that have popped during the pandemic, say, Peloton is the best example, are seeing a pull forward in demand, where people are going to buy them now, but that means they won't buy them in the future?

And similarly, I just wonder, if everyone buys things and gadgets on this Prime Day, well, then, maybe they'll feel a little more shopped out when it comes to Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year.

DAN HOWLEY: Yeah, and it's interesting just because, you know, a lot of the things that have been purchased, like you said, Peloton-- you know, I cover the gaming-- video game market. One of the big ones was the Switch being sold. It blew up, great for Nintendo, but what does that mean for the holidays?

You know, in that particular sector, they seem to be a little bit better insulated because they have new consoles coming out, and those naturally would be sold on Amazon as well. So there's going to be healthy sales there.

I think, you know, clothing is obviously something that people haven't been purchasing because you can do everything with a shirt. You know, no one can see the bottom half of you, so it doesn't matter what you're wearing. Hopefully it's something, but you know, it could be sweatpants or shorts.

But, you know, they're looking at something like Levi's having sales. That's going to be a big deal for Levi's for Amazon. And I think, you know, it's going to be things like that that you wouldn't otherwise purchase for entertainment. The entertainment goods, though, they may have had that pull forward. And they might not see that kind of benefit around this and the holiday season.