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Prime Day 2020: What Retailers Need to Know

After months of delay, Amazon announced that Prime Day will fall on October 13-14, 2020.

Of course, this annual shopping event is big for Amazon, but other retailers can benefit as well. Over the years, other retailers have countered Amazon with deals of their own, offering irresistible promotions to draw shopper attention away from Amazon.

While Prime Day may be a bit different in 2020, the potential for non-Amazon retailers to drive sales remains. Here, we’ll share a few tips for Prime Day success, but first, we’ll dig into just why this event is so important.

A Quick History of Prime Day

Amazon’s Prime Day is an annual online sale exclusively for Amazon Prime subscribers. Since its launch in 2015, the one-day sale has exploded into a two-day event rivaling Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

The first Prime Day, however, was unimpressive. Unless you were looking for deals on baby wipes, Tupperware, or electric pencil sharpeners, you likely left the site empty-handed.

Prime Day has come a long way from the bulk baby wipes of 2015, though not without some growing pains. In 2018, Prime Day crashed the Amazon site, causing shoppers to see 404 screens for large parts of the 36-hour sale.

Fortunately for bargain-hunters, Amazon recovered to deliver their biggest day ever in 2019. In just 48 hours, Amazon sold over 175 million items. 86.7% of all online shopping dollars went to Amazon during this time, but according to Adobe Analytics, other large online retailers saw a 68% increase in sales during the Prime Day window. Smaller retailers saw significant boosts as well.

Even though Prime Day started with Amazon, the event has clearly become an industry-wide phenomenon. That’s why retailers must be prepared to deliver deals and connect with customers during this time. Here are 5 things to keep in mind as you prime your marketing strategy for Prime Day.

5 Tips for Prime Day Marketing

1. Promote your best deals across channels.

Take advantage of all of your marketing channels to connect shoppers with your most eye-catching promotions – whether that’s big discounts, BOGO offers, or even free shipping.

Free delivery might not be the novelty it once was, but it’s still a big draw. In fact, a Global Web Index report about post-COVID shopping habits reports that over half of online shoppers are more likely to purchase something if this is available. Amazon Prime users get fast, free shipping; offering your shoppers the same can help you attract customers.

2. Deliver targeted, relevant promotions.

Personalization is no longer a nice-to-have; it’s a necessity. Delivering personalized communications across email, SMS, and push notifications can help put your brand top-of-mind – or, at the very least, second only to Amazon.

Use customer data to connect customers with the promotions that resonate most. For instance, a clothing retailer can tap into a shopper’s purchase history to connect them with coupons for similar items.

Need help with personalization? Here’s a handy guide.

3. Capture the attention of passing shoppers.

According to a study by Adlucent last year, 68% percent of shoppers planned to compare prices on other sites on Prime Day to make sure they get the best deal. Price-conscious shoppers will likely do the same this year.

When comparison shoppers land on your site for the first time, it’s important to grab their attention and kick off a relationship. Capturing an email address or mobile phone number can convert these passing window shoppers into lifelong customers by giving you a direct channel to market to them in the future. That way, you can deliver deals and drive conversions long after Prime Day is over.

4. Build loyalty with a great customer experience.

This holiday season, more shoppers will turn to online shopping. By providing them with a great customer experience, you can build relationships that lead to more sales later in the year – and in the years to come.

Keep in mind that shopping habits have changed. For instance, more shoppers may use curbside or “buy online, pickup in store” (BOPIS) options to purchase items without having to mingle with shoppers. Use your customers’ preferred marketing channels, whether email or SMS, to provide updates and make the retail process as seamless as possible.

5. Get creative!

Remember when Amazon crashed during Prime Day 2018? eBay sure does.

For Prime Day 2019, eBay countered Amazon with a “crash” sale to humorously remind customers that “if history repeats itself and Amazon crashes,” eBay would still have plenty of great deals available.

On a day when every retailer is offering their best deals, it’s important to stand out. Delivering an engaging, on-brand campaign is a great way to do this.

That being said, it’s important to consider your tone. A lighthearted offbeat campaign might not work for your audience in 2020, but you know your customers best. Tap into your customer insights to create messaging that resonates with your audience.

With Amazon’s Prime Day happening later in the year, the holiday shopping season stretches into a three-month-long marathon. Watch our on-demand webinar, “Connected Through Change: Delivering Outstanding Retail Experiences In The 2020 Holiday Season,” to learn how retailers can deliver engaging, empathetic messaging across channels during this time.

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