The ecommerce giant will hold an October sales event similar to its annual Prime Day event, sources tell Digital Commerce 360. Inc. plans to hold a Prime Day-like sale early next month, according to retailers that sell on Amazon’s marketplace and a consultant who works with Amazon sellers. For now, Amazon is remaining tight-lipped, declining to confirm or deny the possibility of another big retail event ahead of the holiday season.

Minda Wong, senior marketing manager at consumer electronics retailer Monoprice Inc., says her company will participate in what’s currently being marketed as a “Fall Prime Day” event, which she says is expected to run from Oct. 11-12. Monoprice, which is ranked No. 250 in the 2022 Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000, will post deals similar to those it offered during the recent 2022 Prime Day promotion, held on July 12-13. If the tentative fall date pans out, that means just three months would separate Amazon’s widespread sales events.

Another retailer that sells health and beauty products through Amazon acknowledged anonymously that it will be taking part in Amazon’s currently under-wraps October sale.

Amazon’s ‘Fall Prime Deal Event’

Fahim Naim, head of Amazon at Advantage Unified Commerce, an ecommerce consulting agency that works with Amazon sellers, also says the October event is happening.

“Amazon has shared with its sellers and vendors that there is a ‘Fall Prime Deal Event,’ which appears to resemble Prime Day,” Naim tells Digital Commerce 360. Based on the cut-off dates Amazon shared with retailers using its Fulfillment by Amazon services, it appears the event will start on Oct. 11 or possibly Oct. 18, he adds.


“Several of the deals, including lightning deals, have already closed off for the event,” Naim says. “But there are some other promotion types — i.e. Prime Exclusive Deals — that are still open for submission for the event.”

Amazon doesn’t confirm sale

So far, Amazon won’t comment on buzz around the as-of-yet unannounced sales event.

“We do not comment on rumors or speculation,” an Amazon spokesperson said in an email response to a Digital Commerce 360 inquiry earlier this week. When asked about reports of an October sale from marketplace sellers and Naim, she reiterated that Amazon’s public relations team still has nothing to share.


Other sellers’ reactions

Dion Rodrigues, marketing director at Pool Supplies Canada, which lists its products on Amazon, says he has not heard about a sales event in October. But he added that the merchant would participate if given a chance. Pool Supplies Canada is No. 1223 in the 2022 Digital Commerce 360 Next 1000, a ranking of small- to mid-sized online retailers.

“We would most certainly want to take advantage of it due to slower ecommerce sales volumes this year and a high level of remaining inventory in our warehouses,” Rodrigues says.

“We likely could consider an additional 10% to 25% off select items during the sale period, similar to what we’ve done during past Prime sales,” he says. “Perhaps even higher, as the majority of our product offerings are now ‘out of season’ due to summer being over.”

Medical supplies retailer NorthShore Care Supply (No. 767 in the Top 1000), which sells through Amazon but hasn’t participated in recent Prime Days, is also in the dark. Owner Adam Greenberg says he hasn’t received any information about another widespread Amazon promotion being scheduled. But even if he had the opportunity, he says he’d be reluctant to run any significant sales even if he had surplus inventory. The retailer is still contending with supply chain delays, and Greenberg prefers to save the extra inventory for loyal customers when shipments may be delayed for months on end.


“Our products are not seasonal like other retailers and don’t expire for five years,” he adds. “So extra inventory will always get sold at retail price at some point in future.”

But overall, Naim anticipates a lot of Amazon sellers will take part in the sale next month.

“Despite reluctance from some brands, we expect a large turnout and many brands to participate in the Fall Prime Deal Event to get a needed boost in topline sales,” he adds.

How many Top 1000 retailers sell on Amazon?

Anything Amazon does has a big impact on consumers and third-party sellers on its marketplace. The web behemoth is No. 1 in the Top 1000 and No. 3 in the 2022 Digital Commerce 360 Global Online Marketplaces Report.


More than half — 53.6% — of all Top 1000 retailers and more than three-quarters — 75.3% — of consumer brand manufacturers in the rankings list their products on Amazon, making it by far the favorite marketplace channel for the leading online retailers in North America. Just 17.3% sell on eBay Inc. (No. 5 in the marketplaces rankings), and 11.9% opt for Walmart Marketplace (No. 11 in the marketplaces rankings).

Kicking off online holiday shopping

Naim and others report hearing Amazon may be calling the October event a “Prime Early Access Sale” ahead of the traditionally deeply promotional Cyber 5 period from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday. The move and the timing — roughly six weeks ahead of Thanksgiving if the sale begins Oct. 11 — would allow Amazon to position the event as a kickoff to the holiday shopping season. With consumers increasingly demanding sneak-peek, Cyber weekend-level deals, which start earlier and earlier each year, some say the marketing campaign would make sense.

Monoprice sees the upcoming Amazon sale as a start to holiday promotions.


“We will offer a variety of Prime Day exclusive discounts to take advantage of early shopping, but the biggest number of deals will be during the traditional Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping period,” Wong says. “We will also offer a set of discounts on our own website that will run for two weeks during the estimated Fall Prime Day period.”

Amazon tried a similar strategy in 2020, when the summer Prime Day event was rescheduled for October due to the pandemic, and industry experts expected that to pull a lot of seasonal spending typically allocated for the November-December season earlier into the fall. That wasn’t entirely the case.

Back then, more than a third — 38% — of online shoppers in a Digital Commerce 360 post-Prime Day survey hadn’t completed any holiday shopping during the October 2020 event. Another third — 33% — said less than a quarter of their purchases during the sale were gifts. So the timing didn’t seem to significantly impact the holiday period’s performance too much.

Inflation is likely motivator for second Prime Day

That said, holiday shoppers in 2022 are dealing with a different retail climate, with inflation and reports of retailers with big inventory surpluses.


Naim says he believes Amazon is holding the additional event in the fall to provide customers with more deals to “help with inflationary pressures,” boost brands’ topline sales in a year of modest ecommerce growth and increase signups for its Prime membership, which has stagnated in 2022.

According to results of Digital Commerce 360’s preliminary pre-holiday survey of more than 50 retailers, nearly seven in 10 — 69% of — retailers expected high inflation will cause consumers to purchase less overall this season. And more than half — 55% — cited rising inflation as a main obstacle for their business heading into the holidays. Respondents also largely anticipate consumers will be comparison shopping more this year.

Shoppers likely to expect deep holiday discounting with inventory surpluses

And with many retail executives reporting too much inventory in recent earnings calls, surpluses have dominated industry headlines lately. Nearly one in five — 18% of — retailers in the Digital Commerce 360 survey reported too many products just sitting ahead of the holidays, and shoppers have taken note. According to more than a quarter — 27% — of retailers surveyed, consumers will be expecting more promotions now that they’ve seen the news of unwanted items leading into the big shopping period.

All of this marks a real pendulum shift from 2021, when supply chain snafus meant retailers couldn’t keep enough products on the shelves and shoppers were plagued by out-of-stock notices during the holidays. Last season, that led to pretty weak discounting because retailers just didn’t have to slash prices to entice consumers to buy and get rid of overstock at the end of the year.


Michael Gorman contributed to this story.

Sign up

Stay on top of the latest developments in the ecommerce industry. Sign up for a complimentary subscription to Digital Commerce 360 Retail News.

Follow us on LinkedInTwitter and Facebook. Be the first to know when Digital Commerce 360 publishes news content.