Prime Day is Prime Time – and not just for Amazon. As the countdown to the Amazon-made holiday begins, we’ve outlined ways brands can capitalize on increased shopper interest during Prime Day.
Prime Day, Amazon’s annual midsummer celebration of itself, is once again expected to be bigger than ever this year. This two-day event runs from July 15-16 and promises shoppers deals on a seemingly endless array of products. Now in its fifth year, the annual event has driven spikes in revenue and traffic not just for the world’s largest online retailer, but also to other retailers offering deals on and around Prime Day.
Brands on the Rakuten Marketing affiliate network who offered deals have consistently seen double digit spikes in both traffic and orders during Prime Day. This increase is most likely driven by shoppers who are more inclined to shop online due to Amazon’s aggressive promotion of Prime Day. What drives numbers further may be in part to those who are shopping during Prime Day but are unable to find exactly what they’re looking for on Amazon.
The spillover in business from Amazon to other retailers on Prime Day owes to a number of different factors:
- Prime Day gets people thinking about shopping. Just about everyone who shops online does at least some shopping on Amazon. With Prime Day now in its fifth year and Amazon promoting the event across all of its digital channels as well as in Whole Foods, it’s virtually impossible these days for someone to be online and not know that Prime Day is coming up.
- Not everyone wants to shop on Amazon. Whether it’s because of Amazon’s overall size or the fact that finding what you’re looking for on Amazon can be challenging, some online shoppers simply don’t enjoy shopping on Amazon and may be looking to other retailers to find a deal.
- Comparison shopping runs rampant. Online shoppers have more ways of browsing for and buying products than ever before. They also have more retailers and brands to choose from when buying those products. Thus, on Prime Day, shoppers may be prompted to start a path to purchase by an Amazon marketing email, but then may ultimately wind up buying from another retailer that offers the specific product that they want or offers a more personalized shopping experience.
With all of this taken into consideration, brands and retailers are going to be presented with ample opportunity to surprise and delight online shoppers who are receptive to marketing messages and actively looking for deals. To borrow a line from Hollywood, if you offer it, they will come.
Here are several ways you as a digital marketer can capitalize on the spike in online traffic around Prime Day and ensure that your business winds up as the final stop along a customer’s path to purchase.
Tell shoppers more about what makes you different
Amazon’s reputation has been built, in part, on being “The Everything Store.” The thing is, shoppers are actively seeking out unique products and experiences online. Focusing on what makes your brand and your store different is a great start to having your voice heard amid all the noise on Prime Day.
Rather than trying to compete with Amazon on price, offer exclusive, limited time deals on unique products that a shopper can’t find anywhere else. Feature blog posts and social media posts about specific products that you are going to be discounting during your promotional window. Include snippets of product reviews within the post so that shoppers can get a clearer idea of what you’re selling and why it’s a better deal than they can find anywhere else.
Put your own spin on it
Brands can take ownership of a midsummer spike in online traffic and sales by creating their own branded holiday and starting earlier or extending beyond July 15 – 16. Macy’s is getting ahead of Prime Day with their “Black Friday in July” specials that run from July 8 until July 14. Tech e-retailer Newegg’s FantasTech started on July 8 and runs through the 18th, offering shoppers a full ten days of deals and discounts. Extending the holiday gives you an opportunity to capture shoppers who may not have been impressed by the deals that Amazon was promoting on Prime Day but who also still might be in the mood to make a purchase.
Reward your top performers
Work with your network to analyze which publishers are driving the most traffic and conversions to your site and consider investing in additional placement opportunities. Create unique commissioning offers for certain products or product categories, or commissioning rules that incentivize partners to drive specific audiences to your site. Then, reward influencers that are assisting earlier in the click stream and can help promote unique offers that appeal to their curated audience.
Partner with Publishers who are highlighting the shopping holiday
Through your network, learn which publishers are planning to support Prime Day via placements, pages, and other marketing efforts. RetailMeNot has dedicated a separate page, “Get Primed for Deals” as a destination for these promotions. If your brand is planning a shopping event around Prime Day, you should consider working with publishers that are giving brands, beyond Amazon, the opportunity to showcase their July deals.
Ring ring…your call to action is on line one
Programmatic ad inventory needs to be updated to reflect the sales event – and also needs to include a call to action in order to create urgency with a shopper and make it easier for them to make a decision.
Ensure inventory accuracy
The stakes are raised during the week of Prime Day, and the last thing any brand wants is to leave a shopper with a bad taste in their mouth by promoting a product that isn’t in stock. Make sure you have ample quantities of the products and communicate any out of stocks quickly to partners in your network so you can work to swap in a new product to promote.
Online shoppers aren’t just seeking out value during major online sales holidays – they’re also seeking out convenience. Offering a service, such as a free shipping subscription, as a reward for hitting a certain spending threshold increases the likelihood that more customers will spend more money in order to hit that threshold. It also increases the likelihood that a shopper will reengage with your brand after Prime Day and thus could win you more of their wallet-share in the future.
Shoppers aren’t only going to be on retailer websites during the days leading up to and on Prime Day – they’re also going to be hunting for deals on social media sites as well. Update your social media channels with fresh content in the days leading up to your promotion so that visitors know what you’re offering and when you’re offering it. Respond to social media queries in real time in order to mitigate any potential customer service issues. Determine which products you think are going to be more popular with social media users and be sure to adjust your ad spend on those channels accordingly.
Stress test your digital channels
Retailers including the likes of Amazon have suffered technical issues stemming from spikes in traffic from deal seekers on Prime Day. A bad experience during a major shopping holiday is likely to send a shopper elsewhere and could result in that customer’s business being lost forever. Now is the best time to stress test your site to ensure that it runs at optimal speeds even in the worst case scenario.
Even if you are not ready to invest heavily in this shopping event, this is a great opportunity to “test and learn,” by starting small and analyzing performance. While we know that consumers will be eager to check out Prime Day deals next week, not everyone will be making a purchase on amazon.com. People may be ready to shop, but they will also be looking for great offers. Brands should take the opportunity to build a digital marketing strategy that gives them opportunities to communicate their unique products and offerings to an audience primed for shopping.
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