Amazon isn’t the only retailer with sales opportunities on Prime Day 2017. The new mid-summer sale can create opportunities for all online retailers, if tackled correctly.
Prime Day started off as Amazon’s 20th anniversary celebration and doubled as a marketing effort to increase the amount of loyal Prime shoppers. Although Prime Day 2015 wasn’t the smoothest sale, and created a lot of negative backlash on social media, it was the fourth busiest online shopping day of 2015 in regards to web traffic, which brought in 51.9 million visits. Fast forward to Prime Day 2016, Amazon’s biggest day ever, which brought in a whopping 81.6 million visits.
Prime Day 2017 has been confirmed to be on July 11th. Additionally, this year’s Prime Day will be extended from 24 hours to 30 hours. That means six more hours of opportunities for retailers to win big on the new sales holiday.
Amazon’s off-peak marketing has led to the invention of a new mid-summer retail holiday – ideal for the slow summer sales retailers face. In fact, Prime Day 2015 helped the top 25 online retailers bring in a total of 179 million site visits. This upcoming Prime Day, we can expect an increase in competition among retailers and brands, as well as a boost in number of web visits. The inflation in web visits will be caused by consumers price checking with other retailers in search for the best deal around.
As the saying goes, if you can’t beat them, join them. That’s exactly what retailers have done in response to Amazon’s Prime Day. To get the most out of the increased web traffic, retailers have launched their own anti-Prime Day sales.
Since the start of Prime Day in 2015, Walmart has been responding with tough efforts to compete with the eCommerce giant by providing competing deals, free shipping, and price matching. Walmart brought back their Dare to Compare campaign, in which prices in store and online were updated every hour to match or go below Amazon and other competitors’ prices. In 2016, a day before Prime Day, Walmart offered free shipping for 5 days with no minimum purchase – and of course, no $99 yearly membership fee. Other retailers, such as Target, held big sales on select items, and Macy’s created “Black Friday in July” featuring huge discounts and free shipping over $50.
Here’s how retailers can get the most out of Prime Day 2017:
- Stay a Step Ahead. Retailers need to plan marketing and public relations tactics starting before Prime Day to attract, engage, and retain customers. With the introduction of Prime Day, back-to-school shopping season has shifted back a month earlier, so be sure to start back-to-school campaigns earlier as well.
- Bring Your Best Game. An important aspect is staying competitively priced while maximizing your profits through dynamic pricing. Customers will be actively price comparing on various retail sites for the best deals and offers – the best incentives and best price will win the customer over.
- Be Prepared. It’s not only about price; the customer experience, and product assortment are key factors as well – a bad experience may keep customers from coming back. Like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, retailers need to be able to meet the spike in web traffic, demand for merchandise, and any customer reactions through social media. Don’t miss out on potential sales, be prepared for an increase in demand on specific products to avoid out of stock situations.
- Follow Through. It’s important to remember the shopping experience doesn’t stop at the point of sale, make sure orders are shipped in a timely manner, and your customer service support is prepared to address any concerns via social media and email. Providing a positive shopping experience is vital to make sure that customers are pleased with their purchase and the service along the way. A happy customer may turn into a loyal future customer.
- Nurture. To extend the gains from Prime Day 2017, nurture and grow the relationships with new valuable customers, since returning customers spend 67 percent more than new customers. Be sure to continuously target new customers in your email marketing campaigns. Additionally, create personalized promotions based on what customers purchased, and what products they browsed. Develop the new relationships from Prime Day and attempt to convert them into loyal customers.
What do you think is most important for retailers to do to win customers on Amazon’s Prime Day 2017?
Contributing writer: Patricia Montenegro