Online shoppers prepare for Amazon’s Prime Day deals

Online shoppers are clicking away today as Amazon launches its fourth annual Prime Day. And the discounts are ratcheting up the pressure on the rest of the retail industry to roll out big promotions.

This year’s Prime Day is longer and more ambitious than ever. Amazon is extending its fourth annual promotion to 36-hours with the biggest discounts starting Monday afternoon.
Over this time prime members will have access to more than one million deals.  That includes discounts on Amazon’s Alexa-enabled products, like the Echo, Fire TV, and Fire Tablet.  And, for the first time, there will be prime day deals at Amazon’s subsidiary, whole foods. According to Dan Ackerman of CNET, "They have a lot of Amazon products in whole foods stores now. They’ve got the Amazon Echos and the Dots and the little Amazon tablets in there. The discounted prices on those make them almost casual pickups on the way to the checkout counter

The online deals apply to big-ticket items, including washing machines and dishwashers as well as smaller household goods like paper towels.

Amazon started Prime Day to celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2015. It was such a success that now the other e-commerce giants are scrambling to keep up. CNET editor Dan Ackerman says the entire retail industry is feeling the pressure, "They certainly feel like they have to compete because the first year they had a lot of counter sales. They backed off for awhile but this year they’re all back, Best Buy, Target, stores."

Amazon hopes Prime Day sales will top 3-billion dollars, making it feel like Black Friday in July. Prime Day is also a way for Amazon to keep its subscribers on board as a Prime Membership now costs 119 dollars a year.