Five years ago, no one had heard of Prime Day. Now, it’s quite literally giving Black Friday a run for its money.
Prime Day Has Cemented Its Position on the Retail Calendar
In only a few years, Prime Day has become a staple blockbuster on the retail calendar. As Bloomberg puts it, Amazon Prime Day went from a “rummage sale” to a “must-shop event.”
Last summer, Prime Day became Amazon’s biggest sales event to date (surpassing the previous Prime Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday), with over 100 million products purchased and 89 million visitors logging in to Amazon during the 36 hour event. While it only held that crown for a few months until Cyber Monday 2018 set a new record, this pattern has set a high bar for Prime Day 2019.
Prime Day Isn’t Just for Amazon
Prime Day might be an Amazon invention, but retailers of all kinds see returns from this new summer holiday.
Retailers like Macy’s, Lowes, Staples, Best Buy and Bed Bath & Beyond have run their own promotions during and immediately after Prime Day and offered to price-match Amazon’s Prime Day deals.
Special offers aside, in previous years retailers have benefited from the fact that consumers are now primed to open their wallets for bigger purchases in July and are on the hunt for deals.
Interestingly, this spend stands in contrast to similar shopping events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Prime Day has created a new reason to spend, whereas Black Friday and Cyber Monday simply create a focus for when to spend, since consumers were already likely to make big purchases during the holiday season. As a result, Prime Day offers an opportunity for retailers to capture “new” dollars.
4 Tips to Make the Most of Prime Day for Your Brand
Whether you decide to go head-to-head with Amazon during Prime Day or sweep up once the event ends (both of these strategies have their advantages), enormous opportunities exist this July — and beyond. Here are our top tips for Prime Day success:
1) Prepare like you would for any other major shopping event
Given that Prime Day is now a legitimate shopping event and one that benefits more than just Amazon, your brand can’t ignore it. Beyond simple awareness, you should prepare for Prime Day like you would for any other major shopping event.
One of the best steps you can take to prepare is to promote upcoming deals (and your brand in general) in the lead up to Prime Day. At a high level, this promotion can include email banners and advertising on channels like search and Facebook. When it comes to advertising, it pays to go heavier during the lead up to Prime Day so that consumers have your brand top of mind when Prime Day hits. You should also look for opportunities to get more targeted by engaging specific shoppers who have a demonstrated or predicted interest in products that will go on sale around Prime Day.
2) Use Prime Day as a test run for Cyber Monday
Prime Day has proven it can pack the same punch as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so why not use this summer shopping event as a test run for the holiday season?
Specifically, use it as an opportunity to test new campaign ideas or channels and to identify any weak spots that you need to shore up before the holiday season hits. As you evaluate Prime Day performance for lessons you can apply in November, ask questions like: How effectively can we react to customer behaviors? How quickly and easily can we build targeted audiences and launch relevant campaigns for those customers? The key to making these learnings effective is to set clear goals, track performance and take action on what you discover.
3) Offer deals as it makes sense
There’s no doubt about it: Consumers are on the hunt for deals on Prime Day. While they certainly expect deals on Amazon, retailers of all kinds have risen to the occasion. In the past, many products discounted by Amazon were available from other retailers for even less.
Trying to match Amazon’s speed and price on a regular basis isn’t always possible, but it’s worth sweetening the deal on Prime Day. Even if you can’t go heavy on the discounts, waiving shipping fees or offering expedited shipping can make a big difference. Along the way, make sure you publicize any deals you do offer so that shoppers are aware of changes to your typical prices and policies.
4) But don’t use deals as a crutch
Deals are absolutely important on Prime Day, but you shouldn’t use them as a crutch. In fact, you have one enormous advantage that Amazon doesn’t: Your full product catalog and a deep knowledge of your products.
Amazon might have a big selection, but it doesn’t carry your full product catalog (if it carries your products at all). Promote your products that consumers can’t get on Amazon and call attention to that fact. Of course, the more targeted you can get with these promotions by sending them specifically to customers with a demonstrated or predicted interest in them, the better.
Another advantage you have over Amazon is a deep knowledge of how consumers interact with your entire product catalog. You can put this knowledge to work by offering unique bundles for sets of products that shoppers commonly purchase together. As a bonus, this type of bundling can also help increase your average order value.
Are You Ready for Prime Day?
For even more advice on how to prime shoppers to stay loyal to your brand and bring in a July sales spike of your own, check out our Prime Day Playbook.