Prime Day takes place June 21 and 22, 20 countries will take part in the event. As I scanned the news today, I couldn’t help but strengthen my gag reflex at the number of articles I saw promoting Amazon’s Prime Day. It seems the outrage over the Amazon’s appalling treatment of workers has been overshadowed by marginal discounts.
Why would an event that’s basically the shitest garage sale on the internet, be the gateway for Amazon’s world domination?
What you need to understand is Amazon is reaching its saturation point in the US for household’s subscribed to Prime, according to eMarketer’s data. In the other 19 countries, Amazon may only just be taking off, giving it plenty of room to grow.
Prime Day is vital to Amazon’s business, and not just for the two days it takes place. It’s become a critical way Amazon signs up new Prime subscribers, locking them into its ecosystem, where they continue to spend for the whole year. In 2019, Amazon boasted Prime Day saw more new sign ups than any other time in its history. Increasingly, those sign ups are happening outside the US, helping to fuel Amazon’s rapidly growing international sales.
As my news feed showed me this morning, the amount of free advertising given to prime day from tech websites hoping to make a few bucks on affiliate sales is sickening. All of these article promoting prime day are from businesses that have an interest in you buying crap to take a cut. Mobile Geeks has been guilty of doing this in the past, but it’s not something that we do anymore. Last Prime Day I wrote about how to know if you’re really getting a deal.
The benefits Amazon offers with Prime vary by country. In the UK and parts of Europe, the grocery offering is a main attraction. But one feature it has used as a spearhead to establish Prime in new markets is video streaming. International markets generally don’t have the variety of streaming services available in the US. The lack of competition provides Amazon with a way in, which it can then use to start introducing its other Prime services.
Dave Fildes, Amazon’s director of investor relations, during an April earnings call, described Prime as a way to expose new customers to Amazon. In Brazil, they launched a video only subscription, and when the company launched its broader Prime program, “it was a great mechanism to [get] folks into that program,”.
He also noted customers are more likely to subscribe to Prime after their 30-day free trial if they stream video. And of course once they sign up, they’ll likely spend on Amazon for the rest of the year. If you weren’t clear on why Amazon recently paid $8.5 billion to acquire film studio MGM, with its historic library of content it should be clear now.
It’s also why Prime Day Show is now a thing. This year, Billie Ellish, H.E.R. and Kid Cudi have a three part music experience, you guessed it, exclusive to Prime Members.
What can we do?
Boycotting Amazon would discourage new people from signing up. Cancelling your Prime subscription also sends a message.
It’s hard to stand up against the convenience of having something to your door at a good price. But we have to ask ourselves, as Amazon uses Prime Day to expand its empire into other countries, is this how we want to employ the vulnerable in our society?
Last week a new report showed that Amazon executives are worried they’re burning through workers so quickly they’re worried they’ll run out of people to employ! Many of the over 350,000 workers Amazon hired from July to October 2020 stayed with the company “just days or weeks,”. They left because the conditions were unsafe and grueling. This news isn’t new, in 2018, thousands of Amazon workers in Spain, Germany, and Poland went on a three-day strike that coincided with Prime Day to protest their dismal working conditions.
Amazon has reached its saturation point in the US and is now using Prime Day to target new markets, this is what you’d be inviting in by supporting them.