Amazon Prime Day 2017: it’s coming on July 11 but what’s it all about?

Amazon has officially announced Prime Day 2017 and the big date this year is Tuesday July 11. It’s that day of the year when Amazon runs “hundreds of thousands of deals” exclusively for Prime members, so if you’re not a member and you’ve been thinking of signing up – now would be a good time to get that free trial.

If Prime Day itself wasn’t enough to entice new members, Amazon is running an exclusive discount in the UK – a year of Prime now costs £59 rather than the usual £79 and this offer will run only until midnight tonight!

We gave Prime a 5-star review earlier this year at the usual £79 price so with £20 off it seems like a must-have bargain to us.

In the US, owners of the Echo, Echo Dot and Fire TV Stick with voice remote will be able to say “Alexa, sign me up to Prime” to get a similar discount, but in the UK you can just click through.

Prime Day 2017 details:

While this is the third annual Prime Day, this year Prime members will be getting an additional 6 hours of deals, with 30 hours of mayhem rather than the usual 24. Consequently, the Prime Day deals will start at 6pm on Monday July 10, with new deals launching every five minutes.

The “hundreds of thousands of deals” claim is slightly dubious as it adds up all of the Prime Day deals across all 13 participating countries. That being said, there will still be thousands of deals available in the UK so you probably won’t be short of prices to browse through.

“Our members love Prime Day and we were thrilled by the response over the last two years. It is inspiring us to make it even better this year for Prime members,” says Greg Greeley, Vice President Amazon Prime.

“Every side of our business is working to deliver more deals for a record number of shoppers. We even decided that 24 hours in a day just isn’t enough time to shop all of the great deals – so we’re giving Prime members 30 hours to shop on Prime Day!”

The extra 6 hours of deals can be explained by Amazon’s Prime Day US strategy, where Prime Day will run from 9pm Eastern Time to midnight Pacific – three extra hours at each end. For us in the UK, it’s pretty handy to see the first deals at a comfortable time in the evening rather than having to stay up until midnight so it’s all good by us.

Amazon also promises that deals this year will be easy to navigate and that’s also a good thing. The Amazon shopping experience is heavily dependent on people searching for what they want – the browsing experience can be quite poor, particularly on Black Friday and manic days like it. So any attempt to make browsing deals a lot easier sounds like a good idea to us and no doubt it’ll help Amazon shift more gear too.

You’ll also for the first time on Prime Day be able to use the Amazon app to track the deals you’re interested in – so as usual with lightning deals, tick the ones you like the look of and you’ll be alerted when the deal goes live so you can see the new price.

The Amazon lottery

In additional to all of this, Amazon has also launched a big drive on Amazon Music Unlimited – its wannabe Spotify rival. Prime members who haven’t yet tried the Music Unlimited service can now secure four months of music for just £0.99. Who knows, maybe you’ll like it? And at that price why not have a look?

Between July 7 and July 11 Prime members also have the chance to win £100,000 in cash simply by streaming Amazon Video via a Fire TV, Fire TV Stick or the Amazon App on your games console. Prime members can also save up to 40% on a Kindle Unlimited membership and up to 25% at Prime Pantry between 3rd July and 6th August.

So yeah, in case you hadn’t guessed – the whole point of Prime Day from Amazon’s point of view is to drive Prime subscriptions. We’ll be right there on Prime Day listing all of the best deals so come back to TechRadar on July 11 to see which deals we rate the best!

What usually happens on Prime Day

Last year it was the biggest day in Amazon’s history: Amazon’s traffic was up 36%. It sold 90,000 TVs and thousands of Kindle Paperwhites, Fire TV Sticks and tablets.

In just three hours US customers had bought 18,048 pairs of headphones, while in the UK we bought 600 Trunki suitcases before breakfast. Amazon sold enough Philips Hue bulbs to replace every light in the Albert Hall daily for four and a half years.

So what exactly is Prime Day? Can you trust the deals or is Amazon at it? And when will Prime Day 2017 be anyway? Read on for the answers to these questions and some you might not have thought of.

When is Amazon Prime Day 2017?

Amazon Prime Day 2017 will fall on July 11, though in the UK it will start at 6pm on July 10. In the US it’ll run from 9pm Eastern to midnight Pacific.

What’s the point of Prime Day?

Prime Day exists to promote Amazon’s Prime subscription service, which Amazon says is the best deal in the history of shopping. Prime Day is for Prime members, many of whom will sign up for a free trial of the service so they can get the deals. Once signed up, many of them stay as Prime subscribers.

Why Amazon Prime Day matters

If you’re looking for bargains, Prime Day 2017 is important – not just for gadgets, but for any kind of item. For example, on Prime Day 2016 Prime members bought 215,000 pressure cookers, 200,000 pairs of headphones, 24,000 hammocks, 23,000 Roomba robots and 14,000 Lenovo laptops.

The crucial difference between Prime Day and Black Friday/Cyber Monday – other than it being Amazon’s idea – is that November’s deals are geared towards gifting, because of course it’s the holiday season. Amazon Prime Day is more about personal shopping, either for treating yourself or for saving money household items.

Will Prime Day 2017 be more exciting than last year?

That depends on what you’re planning to buy. Discounts on Amazon’s own products – the Amazon Echo, Fire TV Stick, Fire Tablets and Kindle e-readers for example – are pretty much guaranteed, and there will be stacks of lightning deals on the day too. Unless Amazon decides to do things radically differently this year it’s going to be a really mixed bag, with laptop deals next to handbag deals next to power tools and prosecco. If only there was a website beginning with “T” and ending in “echradar.com” to find the best deals so you don’t have to delve through the dross. Hang on… there is!

As you’d expect, we’re going to be hyped up on energy drinks throughout Prime Day on both sides of the Atlantic, finding the deals that you really don’t want to miss.
Do I need a Prime subscription to get involved?

Yes and no. While Prime is for Prime customers, there will be other deals on the day that are open to everyone – it’s just that with lightning deals, which tend to have limited stock, the Prime users get to see them before anybody else. That means some of the very best deals can be gone long before people who aren’t Prime members get to know about them.

That doesn’t mean you need to pay for a Prime membership, though. You can sign up for a free trial and take full advantage of all the Prime benefits, including Prime Day. But don’t forget to cancel the trial afterwards if you don’t intend to continue. If you don’t, you’ll be automatically billed for membership when the trial period ends.

Are there special Prime deals for students?

Yes. Amazon Student gives you Prime membership for £39 per year instead of the usual £79, and it’s completely free for the first six months. It’s worth considering not just for Prime Day, but for the included TV, music and movie streaming.

What to expect from Prime Day 2017

We’d expect Prime Day 2017 to follow the template of the last two Prime Days. In the week or two before hte big day, we’ll see an enticing Amazon Prime subscription discount. Then on the day itself deals will be grouped into two category: Deals of the Day, which tend to be the most eye-catching and which are available in big numbers, and Lightning Deals, which cover every conceivable kind of product, have limited availability and often sell out very quickly. In the latter case Prime members get to see the deals before non-members.

source [tech radar]

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