Amazon’s self-created discount frenzy, Prime Day, is much-hyped every year, even though it is, essentially, just a sale. It has reinvented the sales calendar, igniting what is otherwise a torrid time of year for retail through artificial demand, forcing others to get in on the act for fear of missing out. Here are a few predictions on what Prime Day has in store outside the US.
A focus on the little guy
Amazon is bestowing greater attention to smaller brands. Established last year, Amazon Storefronts enables small and medium-sized businesses to have dedicated pages, providing a platform for an online small business experience.
Amazon wants to emphasise its artisan, digital-native brand credentials, essential if it wants to grow – both in attracting sellers and buyers. This year’s Prime Day will no doubt give greater visibility and discoverability to these mom-and-pop-shopping experiences.
Bidding to become more omnichannel - Amazon is teaming with retailers for Prime Day deals while also pushing its fulfilment options. (Source: Amazon)
In addition, Amazon UK is giving 3P sellers – typically small, digital-native brands – a physical space to sell offline through its Clicks and Mortar initiative. Expect to see Prime Day deals feature here as Amazon looks to extend appeal of Prime membership.
Discounting access to Amazon’s ecosystem
Typically, Amazon uses Prime Day to promote its devices, such as the Echo, and services, such as Pantry which aids in locking consumers into the ecosystem. This year, with such a focus on recruiting more Prime Members, especially in markets such as India and UAE, expect to see membership discounted for a period during the sales frenzy.
Prime Day goes omnichannel
Amazon has been slowly broadening the array of channels it uses to connect with potential customers beyond its core website and mobile app. In recent years, ‘real-world’ efforts have ramped up, and Prime Day is a great event to really showcase the strides being made here.
In the UK, Amazon will increase Prime Day’s influence at Whole Foods. Expect to see promotions around Whole Foods’ 365 brand, and cross-selling promotion on Alexa devices, Prime Member exclusives and perhaps discounted membership offers. We also anticipate that Prime Now will see discounting, especially to encourage members who haven't used the delivery service before.
To showcase omnichannel fulfilment capabilities, Amazon could create promotions that grant shoppers coupons or discounts off future purchase if they use an Amazon Locker. Amazon recently launched the Amazon Counter service, a new network of pickup points at a partner location. In the UK, fashion retailer Next is offering the service. Perhaps we’ll see partnering retailers offer deals, or Amazon incentivising using the service through exclusive discounts.
With Amazon opening physical kiosks, initially in UK train stations, we’d anticipate these locations being used to highlight Prime Day with exclusive products and deals. This increases the discoverability, shopability and visibility of the event.
India and UAE get more focus in efforts to take on local rivals
In India, Prime Day is one of several events used by Amazon and rival Flipkart to institute regular shopping festivals in the market. As competition heats up, this year's Prime Day is expected to be a full-blown effort. For example, Amazon India is also hosting a Wardrobe Refresh Sale from 19-23 June with up to 80% off on Fashion, Home, and Beauty products. The sale will start early for Prime members.
Amazon Prime was only recently launched in the UAE, but until now the country hasn't yet been able to benefit from its full range of benefits. This year, Prime Day will play a crucial role in recruiting new members, and in ensuring they get locked into the ecosystem.
All about the app
Prime Day is a frenzied event, and it is often hard to keep track of everything, or find that perfect deal. This is where the Amazon app comes in, and this year expect to see more encouragement to download the app to create further stickiness with Amazon. This not only makes it easier for the shopper, but creates more data on what consumers are monitoring, searching for, have on their watch lists. This highlights the importance to start messaging and target adverts and marketing, long before the event. It also shines a light on the need to leverage the learnings from Prime Day to target and re-target shoppers to ensure you’re top of mind and part of the consumer “watch lists”.
Prime Day is about shopping, savings, and entertainment. In 2019, this is certainly the case. In the UK, Rita Ora is performing at a secret Amazon Prime Day Party taking place on 10 July. Twitch Prime is teaming up with EA to create Twitch Prime Crown Cup featuring Apex legends. Then there is an exclusive event for the day, include giveaways to a live-streamed shopping show - Twitch Sells Out, a shopping channel hosted by Twitch celebrities. Amazon is clearly taking learnings from Alibaba’s Singles Day to make Prime Day far more experiential.
A focus on entertainment sees Amazon heavily leveraging its Twitch gaming platform to host Prime-Day related events. (Source: Amazon)
The halo effect of Prime Day
In the UK, heavy promotional activity and summer sales have started in earnest. Nonetheless, it is likely that retailers, especially in consumer electronics, fashion and home, will strive to run distinct offers and deals during the Prime Day season. eBay, and Curry’s PC World are set to dampen Amazon’s sale festivities.
To fully capitalise on savvy shoppers looking across their favourite retailers anticipating seeing some replicate Amazon’s deals, expect to see brands provide deals at key retailers. In addition, expect more retailers to offer Prime Day discounts, redeemed through checking out with Amazon Pay. Fashion brand Jigsaw is one such retailer.
Prime Day serves well for Amazon in reinforcing its price credentials while stimulating demand for Prime Membership – a key growth driver. While creating a frenzy, it works wonderfully psychologically and financially for Amazon.