Amazon consolation prize for Aussies reason enough to smile?

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By Published On: October 11, 20220 Comments

As Amazon prepares for the official launch of its second Prime Day event for 2022, marking the first time the online marketplace has held the event twice in one year, Australia stands out as an exception to the retail giant’s Prime Day plans with the local Amazon arm instead kicking off a somewhat lesser sales event known as ‘Big Smile’.

The decision by Amazon to keep Australia out of the plans for its second Prime Day is an interesting one, particularly given that sales events are seen as one of few sure ways to entice an increasingly cost conscious consumer market to embrace discretionary spend opportunities.

Billed as a ‘Prime Early Access Sale’, but effectively the second Prime Day many expected, Amazon customers in the United States and United Kingdom will be granted access to the sales event as its specific target markets while other nations around the world are left to watch on.

In lieu of Prime Day locally, Australian shoppers have been granted access to an alternative week-long sales event the Bezos brainchild dubs ‘Big Smile’, with notably less high profile deals than those typically seen and expected in the retailer’s Prime Day events.

One key difference between the two sales events is that Australian consumers without Prime subscriptions will be able to access the deals made a part of the ‘Big Smile’ experiment, itself an interesting choice by Amazon given the incentives for it to continue encouraging new customers to subscribe to its Prime program. There is reason to assume, too, that extra incentives for Prime subscriptions already exist at present given the high-profile series and films currently airing or set to air on Amazon’s streaming platform Prime Video – led by Lord of the Rings prequel series ‘The Rings of Power’ set to air its season finale on Friday. 

Why Amazon would choose not to take advantage of the opportunities to further endear the Prime offerings and entrench Australian subscribers into the program is unclear. Similarly, the comparatively modest sales event offered to Australian consumers in lieu of access to Prime Day sales looms as an opportunity lost for the retail giant, with chances for it to get the jump on industry sales events in Australia on the near horizon seemingly left to slip through the cracks.

With Click Frenzy’s Main Event in early November, followed by Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales events later in the same month, the cost-conscious Aussie consumers cautious about discretionary spend will have no shortage of choice for opportunities to snag deals in the lead up to the festive season.

And as Amazon finds itself neck and neck with long time marketplace of choice for Aussie consumers eBay in terms of its popularity with local consumers, it remains to be seen if Australian shoppers will be perturbed by the lack of Prime Day offerings for them specifically or if the disparity in opportunities offered to them by the retailer will be little more than a blip on the radar.

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