Amazon's Prime Day will last for 48 hours this year, with the online retailer planning to offer more than 1 million deals from July 15-16. It marks an expansion from last year's 36-hour sale, which was marred by a site outage as the event kicked off.

 

Amazon is banking on the event not only to juice up its sales during the slower summer months but to convince more consumers to sign up for its $119 annual Prime membership since deals are only available to Prime members.

Aside from Prime membership, Amazon tends to heavily promote its own products — like its Echo devices and Kindle e-readers -- during the sale. Amazon said it plans to offer the "biggest Prime Day deals ever on Alexa-enabled devices" this year, although it didn't specify the prices or deals.

Amazon told CNET that it has been working to ensure a smoother Prime Day in 2019. "We worked super hard throughout the year to ensure that we're prepared for this year," Cem Sibay, vice president of Prime, told the tech outlet. 

The two-day sale will ratchet up the pressure on retail rivals such as Walmart and Target, making "an already acutely-competitive retail environment even tougher," said Moody's Vice President Charlie O'Shea in an emailed statement. Many brick-and-mortar retailers are struggling to keep their footing amid Amazon's growing market share and changing consumer tastes. 

"This is yet another example of the flexibility Amazon has to push the pricing envelope, in this case to broaden and deepen the benefits to Prime members, which creates a conundrum for all retailers, with the smaller, financially weaker retailers the most at risk," O'Shea said.

Early Prime Day deals

Amazon on Tuesday said it was offering an "early" Prime Day deal on a Toshiba HD television, which it's selling for about $180, or $120 less than its retail price, through June 30th. It's also selling the Key for Garage myQ Smart Garage Hub + Amazon Cloud Cam (Key Edition) for $99.98, or 40% lower than its typical price.

Still, consumers should do their research because some items may be cheaper during the Black Friday holiday shopping season. A 2018 analysis found about 30 percent of products sold during Prime Day are likely to be as expensive or even pricier than on Black Friday. Typically, researchers say, the best deals can be found on Amazon's own devices.

Amazon, which has more than 100 million Prime members, said the sale will be available to consumers in in U.S., U.K., Spain, Singapore, Netherlands, Mexico, Luxembourg, Japan, Italy, India, Germany, France, China, Canada, Belgium, Austria, Australia and the United Arab Emirates.