Blog Series

Amazon Prime Day poses challenge and opportunity for retailers

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
Dan Berthiaume profile picture
Amazon Prime Day 2023
Retailers can benefit from the Prime Day halo.

Amazon’s annual retail sales extravaganza is coming in July, and other retailers can try to beat it or join in the festivities.

It’s now official – Amazon Prime Day 2023 takes place July 11-12. According to Adobe Digital Economy Index data, total U.S. online spend across retailers during Prime Day 2022 reached an all-time high of $11.9 billion, and numerous surveys suggest consumers plan to spend as much or more this time around.

As expected, fellow retail titans like Walmart and Target have already announced their own competing mega-sales events. But there is still plenty of room for other retailers to take advantage of the increased e-commerce traffic and general heightened interest in shopping generated by Prime Day.

Realistically, no retailer is going to beat Amazon with Prime Day counterprogramming. But there are a few ways retailers can join in the Prime Day action and receive a boost in sales, traffic and recognition.

Start driving traffic and sales (and membership) early

Amazon has already begun offering early access to select Prime Day deals. There is no reason any other retailer should wait until Prime Day (or after July 1) to begin offering at least some discounts on their own summer sales extravganza. This extends the potential sales and traffic boost, and also builds momentum and interest for the actual event.

It is also worth noting that Amazon, Walmart and Target all restrict their summer discount events to members of their respective Prime, Walmart + and Target Circle loyalty programs. While Amazon and Walmart charge a fee for membership (which comes with perks such as free shipping and partner offers), they both offer a free 30-day trial which enables a customer to participate in their discount event.

Early discount access can also help encourage more consumers to join your loyalty program over a longer period of time. If you typically charge for membership, make sure a free trial option is available for participating in your sales event.

The game is afoot

Clearly, competing with Amazon strictly on the basis of price or product assortment is most likely a losing proposition. However, there are other ways for a retailer to draw consumer attention away from the glitz and hype of Prime Day. One of the best is gamification, or turning marketing and sales efforts into competitive events and games.

Gamification can take many forms. These can include video game-type virtual competitions, digital scavenger hunts and trivia contests, or the earning of points and rewards for accomplishing certain tasks (such as making a hashtagged social post displaying a retailer’s wares).

The type of gamification promotion you choose may be influenced to some extent by your vertical – a sporting goods retailer would have a natural opening to offer some type of athletically-based virtual contest, while an apparel retailer might want to promote social sharing of photos of their outfits.

There should also be a direct tie-in to participation in your sales event. Most importantly, don’t forget the “game” portion of gamification – make it fun and rewarding enough that customers will keep coming back before, during and after your event.

The more channels, the better

Prime Day started off as an online event. But as Amazon expanded its channels of operation, Prime Day grew to encompass brick-and-mortar stores, livestream, and the Twitch social gaming platform.

Similarly, any retailer competing with Prime Day should make sure their summer sales promotion extends across all their customer touchpoints. This includes platforms such as social networks and any metaverse presence.

In addition, retailers should not be afraid to add new touchpoints to help further spread the reach of their promotion. These could include physical and virtual pop-up shops, QR code activations, or even partnerships (such as a temporary presence on the direct-to-consumer site of a brand you sell).




More Blog Posts In This Series