Amazon marks its 20th birthday with its own ‘Black Friday’

Get ready for Amazon Prime Day
Get ready for Amazon Prime Day   

Online shoppers get ready to spend, spend, spend, for Black Friday is coming early this year as part of Amazon's 20th birthday celebrations.

Next Wednesday, July 15, Amazon is launching "Prime Day"; its own global shopping event that aims at offering "more deals than Black Friday", for customers in nine countries, including the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Japan, the online marketplace announced Monday.

Greg Greeley, vice president of Amazon Prime said in a statement that Prime Day will be "one of the biggest deals extravaganzas in the world." The retailer also promises that new deals will be "starting as often as every ten minutes" on the day.

However, as its name implies, "Prime Day" is for Amazon Prime members only. An online service that provides members exclusive options and benefits for an annual fee, for instance $99 a year in U.S.

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More business than pleasure?

An employee stacks items to be shipped at the fulfillment center in Phoenix, Arizona.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
An employee stacks items to be shipped at the fulfillment center in Phoenix, Arizona.

This January, statistics showed that Amazon Prime had 40 million U.S. members, spending an average annual amount of $1,500, compared to non-members, who spent only $625; according to a report by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, LLC (CIRP).

Amazon Prime appears to see an increased interest in membership during the holiday sale season. Amazon announced a rise of 10 million additional U.S. Prime customers during last year's holiday season, up from 29 million in September 2014, according to CIRP.

In the U.K., Amazon reported that last year's Black Friday was the British site's busiest day on record, selling around 64 items per second.

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James Brooke, managing director at Rooster PR, told CNBC that while the 20th birthday is a "nice angle," it won't steal any limelight away from the biggest shopping day of the year: Black Friday.

"Amazon's clear focus currently is to drive subscriptions to its Prime service and this is a clever way of doing exactly that."

"While the hook of Amazon's 20th birthday is a nice angle, the date of 15th July is also far enough away from Black Friday that there's zero risk of Prime Day cannibalizing one of the biggest shopping days of the year. It's a smart marketing campaign that's going to drive subscriptions, sales and revenues," Brooke said.

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