Regardless of when in the year they occurred, NPD data shows Amazon’s Prime Days have ranked among the top five online shopping days each of the last three years, and the top 10 days across all of retail, physical and digital, for the past two years. This year, the June timing may trigger more than the planned promotions at Kohl’s, Target, Walmart, and others. In a recent survey, 25% of U.S. consumers indicated being particularly happy that Amazon Prime Days are in June this year.

NPD’s industry advisors shared their thoughts on the timing of the first big promotional event of 2021.

Getting ahead of post-pandemic “home” needs

Joe Derochowski, home industry advisor for NPD believes the success of this year’s Prime Days promotions will depend on how well the industry captures the consumer’s attention and whether or not their needs are kept in focus. “Retailers promoting products at this time have a chance to create a boom that normally wouldn’t happen, since consumers will have a renewed urgency to buy, as they re-enter the post-pandemic world,” he said. “New needs related to summer entertaining, back-to-college preparation, and kitchen remodeling projects can each be a source of opportunity across the home industry.”

Maximizing the focus on toys

Juli Lennett, toy industry advisor for NPD, says the move of the Prime Days promotions from July to June could prove to be a positive one for the toy industry, though likely not as effective as the October timing was last year. “Outside of Christmas and Easter, June is one of the strongest sales months for toys, and it is followed by the back-to-school season, where toys take a back seat in terms of spending,” she said. “The timing of this year’s promotions could provide a way for retailers to clear their inventory of summer seasonal products, like outdoor and sports toys, just in time for the back-to-school blues.”

A potential uphill battle, but timed well for typical tech lull

With tech products continuing to fly off shelves, NPD’s technology industry advisor, Stephen Baker notes, “it’s hard to imagine that there is incrementally more demand remaining in the market – especially given the higher than historical pricing levels, even with a discount.” But, the timing for Prime Days may be an upside for tech brands and retailers. “This generally slow post-graduation, post-Father’s Day, pre-back-to-school period can be leveraged to highlight online technology favorites, like mobile accessories that are still coming out of their pandemic doldrums, as well as PCs and accessories, whether for gaming or productivity. Smart home products that are dominated by Amazon’s brands also stand to gain, as they are typically the primary tech-category focus of Prime Days.”

Today’s needs will be the winners

Consumers are shopping in the here and now more than ever before, but Marshal Cohen, chief industry advisor for NPD, says the return of Prime Days promotions to their back-to-school season kickoff roots could spur wins in key areas. “Back-to-school shopping is just one component of the general craving for social progression that will put tech, apparel, home, and smart home products at the forefront for Prime Days’ success this year,” he said. “It’s going to come down to what the consumer wants and needs right now.”

NPD experts aren’t ruling out the potential for a holiday event of some sort from Amazon, and 14% of consumers said they hope Amazon will also again hold Prime Days in October this year. If the past year has taught us anything, it is the value of change.