What is Amazon Prime Day?
Amazon Prime Day is an annual shopping event that gives Amazon’s 100 million Prime members exclusive access to over one million deals. Even if consumers aren’t yet an Amazon Prime member, they can take advantage of a 30-day free trial to gain access to Prime Day deals.
Revenue from Prime Day plays a significant role in Amazon’s third-quarter results, and Internet Retailer estimated that Amazon took in $4.2 billion during last year’s 36 hour event.
This year, Prime Day 2019 is a two-day event scheduled for July 15 and 16, and is available in eighteen countries.
Do consumers look at other retailers on Prime Day?
New research from Bazaarvoice, Inc. indicates that consumers are also interested in shopping elsewhere on Prime Day. Those surveyed cited Amazon’s recent issues with fake reviews, and other brands’ brick and mortar stores as reasons for taking caution and looking elsewhere:
- 44% of shoppers indicate that Amazon’s recent issues with fake product reviews will impact their participation in Prime Day shopping. 37% will be more cautious when they shop at Amazon.
- 32% of shoppers said they shop outside of Amazon because they find better sales, and 31% shop at other brands because they have physical stores nearby.
Whether retail brands are launching sales or not, research from Liftoff suggests that consumers are in shopping mode during this time of year. According to Liftoff, during the week of Prime Day 2018, the percentage of users who installed non-Amazon shopping apps and made a purchase increased by over 46% from the previous five weeks.
How are top retailers competing with Prime Day?
Other retailers are launching similar summer deals in an effort to take market share away from Amazon. In fact, RetailMeNot estimates 250 retailers will launch sales on Prime Day this year.
Their survey also highlights that 64% of shoppers are hoping that Amazon provides better deals this year, and 54% want more time to take advantage of deals.
McKinsey’s analysis of Prime Day 2018 shows that retailers must have a plan to compete against Amazon. They found that “retailers without a bold Prime Day plan saw a very limited increase in conversions on Prime Day compared with the prior week–10 percent or less–and some even experienced declines.”
Here are some of today’s top retailers who have already put their hat in the ring for “Black Friday in July.” According to Bazaarvoice’s research, Walmart is the top alternative destination at 44%, closely followed by Target at 40%.
eBay Crash Sales
eBay and Amazon have a similar customer base, according to Feedvisor’s 2019 Amazon Consumer Behavior report. Feedvisor noted that 43% of Amazon shoppers also shop on eBay, and 52% of Amazon shoppers also shop at Walmart.com.
eBay recently announced its competing sale, and pointed to the fact that Amazon's website crashed during last year's Prime Day event.
"eBay's hottest deals offered during prime summer shopping season - with even better deals if Amazon crashes again," an eBay press release reads.
The release also points out that eBay shoppers always get free shipping – without any membership fees.
eBay’s sales start July 1, and run for three weeks.
Target Deal Days
Target recently announced Target Deal Days, two days of online sales that fall at the same time as Prime Day.
Target’s release emphasizes that shoppers have several ways to shop, with delivery options like same-day delivery, in-store pickup, drive up pickup, and free 2-day shipping. Like eBay, Target also emphasizes that you don’t need to be a member to take advantage of Deal Days discounts.
Target competed against Amazon’s 2018 Prime Day with a one-day sale, and is hoping to see even more results. According to McKinsey, Target saw a 129% lift in conversions week over week, compared to Amazon’s 121% increase.
Only time will tell if Target will see similar success this year.
Walmart’s discount frenzy will be held from July 14 to July 17 this year, and the retailer will offer thousands of deals over those four days. To date, Walmart has promised savings on electronics, video games, home items, fashion items, and toys.
Walmart and Amazon competed closely last year, and analysts noticed that both brands changed prices daily on some top items to beat one another. Will there be another price battle this year?
How can you compete?
1. Announce discounts in advance to be included in press coverage
We’ve all seen the articles titled “Top 10 gadgets on sale this week” or “The best smartwatches are 50% off this week.” When you announce your top sales in advance, you stand a chance to be included in the (free) press coverage.
2. Bulk up reviews across your top sale items
ReviewMeta found that Amazon was hit with more than 1.8 million unverified 5 star reviews in March 2019 alone. Because consumers can’t see or feel the item they’re purchasing on Amazon, they have to rely on reviews to determine which product to purchase. Since it’s been revealed that Amazon’s reviews aren’t always legitimate, consumers are keeping an eye out for deception. With credible and authentic on-site reviews, consumers will feel confident when they purchase from you.
3. Keep sales active after Prime Day ends
Attract late shoppers who missed Prime Day by keeping your sales live past Amazon’s cut off. You may have noticed that Walmart’s deals are set to run until the 17th – after Prime Day ends.
According to Bazaarvoice, there was a halo effect that occurred for brands that offered sales at the same time as Prime Day. These stores saw sales increase for the entire week after their discounts ended.
4. Use influencers
When using social media to announce deals, your reach is limited by that network’s algorithm. It’s also limiting because your customers are likely following competing brands that are simultaneously announcing their own sales. Similarly, your customers’ email inboxes will be jam-packed with promotional emails from Amazon, Target, Walmart, and eBay, just to name a few.
Use influencers as a way to reach new customers on the day of your sale. According to Shane Barker, micro-influencers – social media users with 500-10,000 followers – get more engagement, are more affordable to work with, and are considered more trustworthy.
5. Offer in-store appointments
31% of consumers in Bazaarvoice’s survey say they shop at other brands because they have physical stores nearby. Besides being a great location to make returns, the physical store is a huge part of building great customer experiences.
In fact, our Consumer Behavior survey found that 64% of respondents said they typically spend more on products/services after an in-person appointment or face-to-face meeting. Clearly, consumers are interested in face-to-face interaction, and even agree that they spend more after having one. Here’s some appointment ideas that you could offer in coordination with any July discounts:
1) Electronics consultation (TV, laptop, phone)
2) Back to school shopping
3) College dorm shopping
Though Amazon recently overtook Google and Apple to become the world’s most valuable brand, consumers are still interested in shopping elsewhere. To compete with Amazon, and to capture market share this July, consider our top 5 tips above. For more information about appointment scheduling, check out any of these resources:
June 24, 2019
12 minute read