How to Make Sure Your Online Business Benefits from Amazon Prime Day 2019
Amazon Prime Day 2019 is almost here. Is your business ready? If you’re in retail, you should be. And if you think that only Amazon.com and its partners can profit from Prime Day, well, think again.
Yes, Prime Day is technically an event that’s exclusive not only to Amazon.com shoppers, but also to Prime subscribers. But, just as the originally brick-and-mortar–focused Black Friday morphed into a days-long, annual online sales frenzy, so too has Prime Day been spilling over into other outlets—and savvy retailers are poised to reap huge profits if they know how to seize the opportunity.
As John Koetsier notes Forbes, “Prime Day is now a more-than-Amazon shopping event”—it’s “a new online shopping holiday” that sends consumers in search of “deals and discounts at retailers all across the web.” And, as the experts at McKinsey & Company point out, not only were Amazon and its partners big winners in Prime Day 2018, but also, so were the “retailers that went head to head against it.”
Prime Day is now a more-than-Amazon shopping event”—it’s “a new online shopping holiday
When Is Amazon Prime Day 2019?
Although Amazon keeps the exact date of Prime Day under wraps until just before the event—the website simply says “coming soon” — it’s widely anticipated to kick off on Monday, July 15 (thanks to a leaked email). The ambiguity of the date seems to be part of a strategy to turn Prime Day into an event that goes far beyond just one day; indeed, Amazon began rolling out Prime Day-adjacent price cuts as early as June.
Whatever the reason for the mysterious timing, the strategy certainly seems to be working. Though it’s only a few years old (the first Prime Day was in 2015), the event was on the radar of a whopping 80% of U.S. consumers in 2018, per the McKinsey report. And, as that same report notes, last year’s Amazon Prime Day was the largest shopping event in the company’s history—no small feat for the world’s largest online retailer.
Amazon Prima Day was on the radar of a whopping 80% of U.S. consumers in 2018, per the McKinsey report.
“It’s Black Friday in July, Christmas in the summer, and a massive orgasm of consumers consuming consumables,” writes Koetsier. “But there’s one big question for retailers. How do you get your share of the business… whether you’re on Amazon or not?”
What Prime Day Means for Businesses that Aren’t Associated with Amazon
Of course, it’s a no-brainer that retailers with some level of partnership to Amazon are poised to reap some pretty major rewards come mid-July. Brands selling on Amazon saw their sales jump 30% during Prime Day 2017, notes Koetsier, while Amazon-generated sales by mass merchants (like discounters and third-party sites) shot up a stunning 124%.
But make no mistake: Businesses that aren’t associated with Amazon can still benefit from Prime Day with a little planning. After all, as TechCrunch’s Sarah Perez points out (citing a report from Adobe Analytics), Prime Day 2018 boosted sales for other large retailers by as much as 54%. And, while it’s true that this figure applied to companies with more than a billion in annual revenue, the larger lesson is that Prime Day is a rising tide that lifts all online commerce.
As John Roswech, executive vice president at Criteo, tells Koetsier in the Forbes article, the days around the event are seeing big increases in consumer intent and site visitor volumes on an industry-wide basis. For all online retailers, he adds, this is a vital time to “heavily promote their deals and products, and aggressively pursue high-intent audiences who are converting at rates 41% higher than normal.”
“Heavily promote their deals and products, and aggressively pursue high-intent audiences who are converting at rates 41% higher than normal.” Click To Tweet
With that in mind, let’s look at a few ways in which retailers other than Amazon and its partners can not only boost sales and drive growth during Prime Day, but also leverage the consumer excitement and media interest to achieve some larger-scale marketing and branding goals.
5 Ways to Seize the Opportunity of Amazon Prime Day 2019
1. Hold Your Own Sale. It’s a no-brainer, but it still needs to be pointed out: If you’re an online retailer and you’re not holding some sort of competing sale during Amazon Prime Day, you’re missing out. And, although the nature of your sale should ideally seek to capitalize on (or counter-program) Amazon’s, the larger point is that you ignore Prime Day at your own peril.
As Roswech points out, retailers that take no specific action during Prime Day may still see some growth in sales thanks to the heightened consumer interest. But the ceiling on that growth is expected to be around 5%, while those businesses that do come up with their own promotions could see an increase in sales of 30% or more during the entire week.
“Growth is expected to be around 5%, while those businesses that do come up with their own promotions could see an increase in sales of 30% or more during Amazon Prime Day week.” Click To Tweet
Stumped on ideas for sales? Consider the back-to-school standby: The popularity of Prime Day is thought to be the driving force behind the emergence of the months of July to September as the year’s fastest-growing retail sales period, at almost $60 billion in revenue projected last year (per the Adobe report). That’s prime back-to-school time, and even businesses selling products or services that are only tangentially related to education could benefit from this angle.
2. Plan Ahead. So maybe you can’t compete with Amazon on its own terms— who can? But you can seize on the increasing consumer anticipation for Prime Day, as well as Amazon’s own coyness with announcing the exact date, by starting your sale a few days early: According to Roswech, online retailers that benefited the most from Prime Day are those that anticipated the event by 24 hours.
3. Get the Word Out! Even if your business is a small one—and PR may not be something you’ve ever considered before—the consumer frenzy surrounding Prime Day is a prime opportunity to get yourself noticed by more shoppers than ever before.
For non-Amazon retailers, “capturing headlines is key,” the McKinsey report notes. Those businesses can substantially increase not just their site traffic but also, potentially, their rates of conversion by creating a showcase or “hero” deal, and then getting the word out—particularly for similar categories that Amazon tends to focus in during this time, like kitchen and home appliances and consumer tech.
But how to get the word out, exactly? There are a number of ways: Emails sent to your list, social media messaging directed at your followers, even a simple press release distributed on one of the web’s many cheap or free PR distribution sites. Because Amazon’s media impact during Prime Day is so huge, any of these promotional tactics is very likely to have a larger-than-normal effect.
4. Take Your App Game to the Next Level. Amazon Prime Day also offers an excellent opportunity to boost awareness of your app—or to develop and distribute one, if you haven’t already done so. Offering app-only deals is a great way to get shoppers to download it; once they do, you’ll have another, highly lucrative platform to reach them.
5. Develop Your Member Rewards Strategy. If your business offers a rewards or loyalty program, Amazon Prime Day is an ideal time to promote it by offering member-only deals like special discounts or free shipping. And if you don’t have a rewards program, there’s no better time to start one, and begin seizing the benefits of consumer loyalty and satisfaction that comes along with it.
Because when it comes right down to it, that may be the most salient lesson of Prime Day: People love loyalty and rewards programs, to the extent that they even pay Amazon for their Prime membership. True, that membership comes with some pretty sweet benefits like free shipping and access to the company’s media productions, but the point still stands: Offering a loyalty program helps turn one-time shoppers into loyal, repeat, even fanatic customers.
“Offering a loyalty program helps turn one-time shoppers into loyal, repeat, even fanatic customers.” Click To Tweet
And this customer loyalty can have a seriously positive effect on your bottom line, too. As the Harvard Business Review has pointed out, businesses that increase their rates of customer retention by as little as 5% can see their profits increase by as much as 95%.
We Can Help You Prepare for Amazon Prime Day
There’s no doubt, then, that all online retailers need to make the most of Amazon Prime Day—because if you don’t, there’s a pretty good chance that your competitors are. And that means fully building out everything you need to make sure your business is running at peak capacity, including a fully functional app, a high-level shopping cart and reliable and responsive customer service, just for starters.
And, with more than 20 years of experience helping businesses maximize their impact, Working Solutions can help make sure you have the infrastructure, customer service and communications in place to take full advantage of this once-a-year opportunity to boost your sales.
Contact us today to discover how we can help your business make the most of Amazon Prime Day 2019.Let's connect.