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Yahoo Finance tech reporter Alexandra Garfinkle breaks down where consumers can find some of the best Amazon Prime Day deals and how some competitors are trying to win them over.
DAVE BRIGGS: Well, you marked it on your calendar weeks ago. You loaded up your card. It's trending on every social media platform. And if you're like most, you might be finding Amazon Prime Day a tad underwhelming this year. Allie Garfinkle here with what does stand out in this sea of ads. Allie, nice to see you. What makes this Prime Day different than others?
ALLIE GARFINKLE: Great to see you, Dave. So this Prime Day is a little more muted than the ones we've seen before, as you pointed out. And the pullback is, in part, due to macroeconomic circumstances-- inflation, how consumer spending has cooled. They've all really affected how willing merchants are to cut deals on Prime Day. And I think the other thing to consider, too, is the supply chain. It's been-- it's not a secret there have been supply chain issues for years. And now fewer sellers have excess inventory, so they've grown used to not having enough inventory. And here we are in kind of an underwhelming Prime Day.
A couple of other things to quickly note-- the competitive landscape is different on this Prime Day, too. For instance, Walmart is actually not holding an event to rival Prime Day this year. And the other thing that's probably worth noting is that Prime Day is actually going to be several events this year. There won't be one Prime Day. There will be two. It makes sense that they're trying to spread out Prime Day more due to holiday season, but that's also another thing that kind of makes this different. I think we're sort of in a new era for Prime Day.
RACHELLE AKUFFO: I mean, it really has evolved since it first launched in 2015 with its Prime Day. So how important has Prime Day been to Amazon in its rise?
ALLIE GARFINKLE: That's a great question, Rachelle. And I would say, you can't really overstate how important it is in terms of branding. But it has a very specific-- it has a very specific need that it fills. Within the context of Amazon, I like to think about Prime Day as a way to retain membership. In the end, Prime Day's role then, as now, has been about attracting and retaining moderate to heavy users of Amazon. So while we all look at Prime Day deals, if you are someone who subscribes to Amazon Prime, you are actually the primary audience. And that's something that has definitely retained itself over time and subsequently contributed to Amazon's rise.
SEANA SMITH: Allie, give us the scoop. What are some of the best deals out there this year for Prime Day?
ALLIE GARFINKLE: So I've been looking at the Echo Dot. I've been really looking for a speaker. You can get it for more than 50% off. You can also get Fire Sticks for more than 50% off if you're like me and you're always losing them. Some of the best deals, Seana, are actually Amazon ecosystem deals. And that's not an accident. It's an opportunity for Amazon to push Amazon branded products.
And they want you to invest in the ecosystem, in the same way that they want you-- Apple wants you to invest in the ecosystem. Some of the ecosystem products actually have been selling really well. And I think we know the company expects them to sell well today and tomorrow. So for that perspective, Prime Day is still a win-win. If you were going to buy a Fire Stick, you're going to buy one now. And that's kind of interesting strategically and still important to Amazon.