Prime Day Amazon

Amazon’s Prime Day Wins Big (Again) but Hope Remains for Other Retailers

Were you one of the record number of shoppers logged onto Amazon at the start of Prime Day 2018? If so, you may have noticed a bit of a problem: The site crashed. This led to a statement from the company and, most likely, some scrambling from their tech teams. Thankfully for Amazon, functionality was restored relatively quickly, and that initial stumble didn’t stop the retail giant from rumbling along to its biggest shopping period in its history.

After the dust had settled on the 36-hour event, Prime Day 2018 held the Amazon record for most sales in a day-and-a-half time period for the retailer, beating out traditional shopping staples such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, along with Prime Day 2017. In addition to record-breaking sales for the company, Amazon also reported signing up the most new Prime members in a single day – July 16 – than in any other day in their history.

However, these big wins for Amazon don’t necessarily mean other retailers can’t get their pieces of the pie. With a look at how Amazon does it, there are always lessons to learn to compete with the giants in retail.

How Amazon fared on Prime Day 2018

Amazon did incredibly well for their hallmark sales event. In total, this year was the best sales period ever for Amazon’s Echo, Fire and Kindle devices. In addition to their brands, shoppers also bought millions of toys, beauty products, PCs and computer accessories, and more.

In the U.S., Prime members purchased a record number of smart devices from the retailer. Specifically, the top-selling products were the Instant Pot 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi Use and LifeStraw Personal Water Filters. Thanks to Amazon’s growing partnerships, shoppers also found limited-time deals at Whole Foods Market during Prime Day 2018.

Brands that did well this year included Bosch, SanDisk, PlayStation, and Coca-Cola, along with, of course, Amazon brands.

What larger retailers are doing to respond to Prime Day

Just because Prime Day is a massive success for Amazon doesn’t mean that other retailers – large and small – have to sit on the sidelines. In terms of big competitors for Amazon, Walmart and Target both held their own limited-time sales events across all their retail channels.

Target’s response to Prime Day began on July 17 and attracted millions of shoppers both in-store and online. The company reported that the event was the highest single-day of traffic and sales for in 2018.

Top-selling products for Target’s sale included Dyson vacuums, Instant Pot pressure cookers, and electric air fryers. Harry’s Razors and Graco also had a strong showing across all brands.

In addition to sales prices, retailers like Walmart and ShopRunner used social media to attract shoppers away from Amazon. They hopped into Twitter users’ replies to offer alternatives to Prime Day when people complained about the website crash or the deals in general.

Retailers like Walmart and Target have the brand recognition to go against Prime Day. For smaller retailers, though, there remain plenty of strategies to take on the big dog.

How smaller retailers can compete with Prime Day

For starters, all retailers can learn from Amazon. Prime Day 2018 is a good example of what not to do – make sure your eCommerce platform can handle a spike in traffic. Same goes for your social media profiles, as you’ll want to promote your event and interact with shoppers. Not every retailer can bounce back from a poor launch the way Amazon can.

Another technique used by other retailers is to leverage their community ties. The scale of Amazon prevents it from being connected to one location, community or group of people. Smaller retailers could, though, and they should promote sales in their cities and towns, create events that relate to a local happening or contribute to their communities in other ways to foster consumer support.

In addition, retailers can also turn to tactics such as dynamic pricing, email campaigns, free shipping, and more to attract customers to a limited-time sale. Amazon is skilled at bundling products – some priced low, others high – to drive revenue throughout the year. This is one tactic that other retailers could use as well.

Gain insight into your markets

Competing with Prime Day is possible, with the right insights and strategies for each retailer. If you’re looking to go toe-to-toe with Amazon in a coming year, have the actionable data to make the right decisions.

Wiser’s solutions include compliance, market intelligence, optimization, and more. You can also check out our resources, including an infographic on competing with Prime Day we recently shared, for more insights into omnichannel retail.

While Prime Day is a big win for Amazon, that doesn’t mean it can’t be a big win for you too.

Matt Ellsworth

Matt is the Sr. Manager, Marketing & Demand at Wiser, the leading provider of actionable data for better decisions.

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