Recap: Amazon hosted its first Prime Day sale on July 15, 2015, to commemorate the company's 20th anniversary. The shopping event has been held annually ever since – usually in July. In 2020, Prime Day was pushed back to October due to the pandemic. Last year, it came a month early in June.

Amazon's annual Prime Day sales extravaganza is less than a month away but you won't have to wait until mid-July to take advantage of savings.

This year's 48-hour Prime Day kicks off on July 12 and runs through July 13 for Prime members in more than 20 countries including the US, Canada, Australia, China, Japan, Mexico and the UK.

Shoppers can take advantage of discounts from today. Amazon's three for the price of two sale is still going strong, and customers will have access to early Prime Day deals starting June 21. Users can even complete tasks to earn a $10 credit for use during Prime Day.

The influence of Prime Day extends far beyond Amazon's walls. In recent years, other major retailers including Walmart and Target have countered Prime Day with their own exclusive sales events to coincide with Amazon's shopping holiday. There's no reason to think this year will be any different.

Discounts aside, Prime Day has traditionally served as an excellent opportunity for Amazon to sell more Prime memberships. That could be a bit tougher this year, however, considering the recent $20 membership price hike.