Digital Marketing

Amazon Prime Day – Win or Bust?

Prime day
Earlier this month, Amazon announced they were going to have a “Black Friday” sale on July 15th for their Amazon Prime members. Their announcement caused other retailers to quickly whip up potentially matching sales to push consumers to start their spending habits a bit earlier. As a prime member, I was definitely excited to see what kind of sales Amazon would hold, hoping they would be as equal or better deals than those seen on Black Friday or Cyber Monday.  Needless to say, I, like many other people was disappointed in what seemed like old inventory that Amazon was trying to get rid of vs actual sales on items I was interested in or new products.  And the products that I may have been interested in already had their maximum number of sales so I could not even order it.  Many people had similar experiences and through social media, posted their reviews across the board from with disappointment and hilarity:
Prime day tweets
Regardless of the negative consumer comments, competing retailer sale announcements and the launch of today, Amazon Prime day remained in the spotlight.
So we have to ask ourselves, what was Amazon’s real goal for Prime day?
I believe it was three-fold: Obviously sales is usually the number one reason for preparing for a day like Prime day but Amazon was also looking to gain more Prime members as well as testing out systems and problem-solving before the holiday season begins in a few months.

  • Prime Members – Consumer Intelligence Research Partners reported an increase of 3 million shoppers with the announcement of Prime day.
  • Sales:
    • Prime members spend almost double per year than nonmembers (increase of US Prime members to 44 million).
    • Order growth increased 18%, a 266% increase from last July
  • Prime Members – Consumer Intelligence Research Partners reported an increase of 3 million shoppers with the announcement of Prime day.
  • Test – a great way to test systems (supply chain, digital tracking, eCommerce, etc) before the holiday season when influx of consumer shopping and the pressure is high. This type of sale also enabled them to test the importance of fast shipping to consumers – what they would rather have, two-day shipping or a reward (points, credits, etc). All good information to have as they head into the upcoming holiday season.
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So what did Amazon possibly learn from Prime day?

  • Simplicity is key
  • Pro-active placement of problem-solving tools
  • Customer expectation management – big discounts on small quantities (I.E. the travel adapter I wanted)

So although we saw a lot of negative and often hilarious reviews across social channels, Prime day was no laughing matter with record breaking results. Competing retailers can also take note from Prime day focusing on areas in which they can beat Amazon in order to compete and stay alive.
The day did seem to go pretty smoothly from Amazon’s point of view but this week will show if everything was shipped to consumer door steps in a timely fashion. home page image by Julie Clopper /

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