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Amazon Postpones Prime Day 2020 Due to COVID-19

Amazon is postponing its annual shopping event to accommodate fulfillment challenges around COVID-19 demand. Here’s what you need to know. By Natalie Taylor April 10, 2020
Amazon Postpones Prime Day 2020 Due to COVID-19
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Natalie Taylor is the content manager at Feedvisor, where she oversees and executes on the company's content marketing strategy. Prior to her work at Feedvisor, she wrote for a B2B supermarket magazine, focusing on merchandising and marketing trends in the grocery industry.

Amazon is postponing Prime Day 2020 in wake of COVID-19-related supply chain and fulfillment challenges the company and its merchants are facing on the marketplace. The annual shopping event this year will take place toward the end of Q3, likely in August or September, according to Reuters.

Given the significant surge in consumer demand for essential products like groceries and  household items, inbound inventory shipments to FBA warehouses have overwhelmed Amazon’s network, causing significant fulfillment delays. In response, Amazon on March 17 suspended inbound FBA shipments of nonessential inventory to allow the company to prioritize fulfilling orders of essential products. 

Sellers typically prepare for Prime Day several months in advance, stocking up on extra inventory and submitting it to FBA warehouses on a coordinated schedule with Amazon. This restriction on inventory shipments had the potential to devastate sellers’ Prime Day sales if they could not get inventory to Amazon’s warehouses in time.

73% of Amazon sellers make up to half of their total sales for the year during online shopping events such as Prime Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday.

In addition, shut downs of Chinese factories have threatened inventory supply for brands and sellers across a variety of product categories on Amazon’s marketplace. Although a portion of China’s industrial complex has begun returning to work, ongoing travel bans and border closures continue to disrupt the economy, as manufacturers are still unable to acquire materials for production. 

On April 13, Amazon lifted its FBA inventory restriction, opening up its warehouses to all product categories just in time for sellers to begin preparing for Prime Day. With the date of the shopping event postponed until the end of Q3, sellers will also now have more time to coordinate with their supply chains for additional inventory.

Amazon also announced a May 8 deadline for sellers to submit recommended Lightning Deals for Prime Day Week, a deal widely revered by Amazon shoppers — 71% of consumers say they shop during online events like Prime Day for the exclusive deals and discounts. 

Amazon Prime ‘Day’ has not been confined to one day since the first two years of its inception. Amazon Prime Day 2019, the e-commerce leader’s fifth annual global shopping event, for the first time spanned two full days — July 15 and 16 — and marked the longest Prime Day event in the company’s history.

While Amazon historically has not published the date of its Prime Day event far in advance, we can expect this year to be another multi-day event touting steep discounts, given the quantities of excess inventory from nonessential categories that saw sales decline over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Feedvisor is continuing to monitor the events unfolding around the current climate. Reference our COVID-19 resource center for ongoing coverage and updates about the crisis’s impact on Prime Day 2020.

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