TECHNOLOGY

Retailers need a Prime Day strategy

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Amazon’s fourth annual “Prime Day” will run for 36 hours — a window that could benefit retailers willing to take the right actions.

That’s according to the “The AlixPartners 2018 Amazon Prime Day Consumer Survey and Outlook,” which also revealed that of the 63% of Prime and non-Prime members alike plan to shop on Amazon on Prime Day this year, 39% are allocating their dollars to shop for bargains at retailers other than Amazon on Prime Day. This is up eight percentage points from the 31% who said they made a purchase at a different retailer last year.

Prime Day sales globally were estimated to be more than $2.4 billion in 2017, making the event almost as ubiquitous to consumers as “Black Friday” or “Cyber Monday.” In fact, 60% of respondents said they are aware of Prime Day vs. 88% who said they’re aware of Black Friday (the big shopping day in the U.S. that follows Thanksgiving each year) and Cyber Monday, the Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday (81%).

Prime Day is so popular among Amazon Prime members that more than three-quarters (77%) plan to shop on Amazon itself during that time. Moreover, 43% of consumers in general said they also anticipate deals from Amazon-owned companies on Prime Day.

“While other retailers try to get in on the action by offering competitive promotional pricing, Amazon itself will likely use Prime Day not only to sell products but to deepen its relationship with current Prime members,” said Roshan Varma, director in the retail practice at AlixPartners. “Look for them to upsell their membership base to additional revenue streams, be it fulfilling the need for instant gratification with Prime Now or even expanding into the weekly grocery trip via Whole Foods.”

To grab some of the wallet share from Prime Day shoppers, retailers should create a “Prime Day Competitive Strategy,” one that goes beyond deals. This should include aggressive marketing (both leading up to and during Prime Day), targeted promotions (including “flash sales” and other excitement-generating offers), and fast and free shipping, according to the study.

“In our survey, 95% who plan on shopping on Prime Day say they plan on doing online research — which presents a tremendous opportunity for other retailers if they know how to take advantage of it,” said David Bassuk, global co-head of the retail practice and managing director at AlixPartners.

“For instance, last year 47 of the 100 largest non-Amazon retailers offered limited-time sales or messaging that included the word ‘Prime.’ Even simple marketing steps such as that can make a big difference,” he added. “But the Holy Grail is offering consumers a frictionless shopping experience that, while not attempting to compete with Amazon head-on, nonetheless offers the consumer an ‘Amazon-like’ experience but one that’s true to your own unique brand.”

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TECHNOLOGY

Amazon Watch: Weekly recap

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

In addition to revealing details about Prime Day, Amazon made the headlines for several other stories. Here’s a rundown:

Prime Day comes at a price for Amazon’s third-party sellers. For the second year in a row, the online giant is hiking up its fees for sellers to run Prime Day Lightning Deals during its 36-hour Prime Day event.

Amazon to print its own toy story. Amazon is taking a page out of the now defunct Toys “R” Us play book, and will reportedly print a toy catalog for the upcoming holiday season that will be mailed and also be available in Whole Foods Market stores.

Plenty of speculation about when Amazon will…. As Amazon preps to close on its purchase of PillPack, the industry is abuzz with speculation about when it will begin selling prescription drugs.

‘Emerald City’ Amazon Go in the works. Despite plans to open Amazon Go locations in Chicago and San Francisco, Amazon plans to open a second cashier-less store in its hometown of Seattle this fall.

Study: Prime Day to give back-to-school spending a big boost. Retailers are jumping onboard Amazon’s upcoming Prime Day event to kick off their back-to-school shopping season.

Study: Most consumers welcome Amazon’s move into pharmacy. More than half of Americans approve of Amazon’s decision to enter the pharmacy market — most likely because they think it will in-crease competition and reduce prices, according to a research report from Global DataRetail.

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Prime Day comes at a price for Amazon’s third-party sellers

BY CSA Staff

Not everyone is getting a deal on Prime Day.

For the second year in a row, Amazon is hiking up its fees for sellers to run Prime Day Lightning Deals during its 36-hour Prime Day event, according to CNBC.

Last year, Amazon charged sellers $500 to run these exclusive deals. This year, the online giant has upped the price to $750 per Lightning Deal, the report revealed.

Lightning Deals, which are promotions that offer a limited quantity of merchandise for a short period of time, are offered year-round on the site. They typically cost a fraction of what a Prime Day deal does, according to CNBC.

To read more, click here.

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