TECHNOLOGY

The Future of Prime Day: The experts weigh in

BY CSA Staff

Four NPD Industry Advisors share their insights on how Prime Day, now in its fifth year, has evolved and their expectations for the future of this retail shopping event.

Below are remarks from: Marshal Cohen, chief industry advisor, retail; Stephen Baker, VP, industry advisor, technology & mobile; Joe Derochowski, VP, industry advisor, home; and Juli Lennett, senior VP, industry advisor, toys

Has Prime Day reached ‘holiday’ status, and does it have the potential to become as important as the traditional peak holiday shopping days?
“Prime day has already become a retail holiday, and just like Black Friday its influence is spreading. In some categories, like technology and fashion, it could reach the prominence of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.” – Marshal Cohen

Amazon is already touting Prime Day as a core shopping holiday. And the presence of so many other retailers that also hold shopping events on those days, means Amazon has been successful in transforming Prime Day into a retail holiday. We see the hallmarks of a core shopping event surrounding it – an abundance of deals and now pre-deal opportunities. It’s beginning to look a lot like November.” – Stephen Baker

Which product categories have yet to be maximized during Prime Day?
Technology, small home appliances, apparel, and footwear continue to do well during Prime Day, but the opportunities are in areas like toys and home décor, which have yet to be maximized.” – Marshal Cohen

“Technology products have long been a focus for both Amazon and consumers during Prime Day, and are likely maximized as Amazon rolls out some of its best pricing on its own brands. That said, the continued promotion of Amazon technology products like the Echo, Dot, Show, and the variety of TV streaming products, alongside Amazon brands like Ring and Blink, will benefit Amazon in the long run.” – Stephen Baker

“Given the various life moments surrounding Prime Day, there are plenty of areas that have room to grow. Housewares categories barely see a bump during Prime Day, but the outdoor entertaining, weddings, and moving that occurs at this time of year bring opportunities to garner the consumers’ attention by connecting to these moments. The same is true for entertaining related kitchen electrics such as slow cookers, chocolate fountains, and others, as well as textiles purchases being made in the midst of moving and back-to-college season.” – Joe Derochowski, VP, industry advisor, home

“The toy industry is heavily occasion driven (Christmas, birthdays, etc.) serving up potential for all toy categories to grow during Prime Week. But, this is temporary growth, likely to be offset by future sales. Shoppers might buy a toy for a birthday or Christmas gift and save it to give away later because they got a great deal, but then they won’t be making the later, higher priced toy purchase, bringing down overall sales for the toy industry. To make Prime Day more impactful to the growth of the total toy industry, there would need to be a corresponding gift-giving occasion celebrated or created around it, something like Children’s Day or Singles Day.” – Juli Lennett, Senior Vice President, Industry Advisor, Toys

What are the Prime Day challenges and opportunities for other retailers?
“Amazon has developed yet another new concept that has now become a repeat success, and other retailers have a choice to either sit it out or join in with a competitive plan of their own.” – Marshal Cohen

“For other retailers it’s about opening another retail sales channel, and even featuring existing online channels in a way that takes advantage of Amazon’s marketing efforts.” – Stephen Baker

Other retailers have an opportunity to leverage the essence of the event and the shopping mindset it creates. Prime Day is during boom time for the life moments that are particularly important to the home industry (moving, wedding, kitchen remodels, back-to-college, and outdoor entertaining), and co-marketing to these moments poses a huge opportunity. The challenge is to get the consumers’ attention and share of wallet. ” – Joe Derochowski

“The biggest challenge for other retailers, particularly in the toy industry, is that they are losing share to Amazon as well as potential future sales. Jumping on the Prime Day bandwagon is as much about self-preservation as it is benefiting from the related hype. The mid-July timing also poses an opportunity for retailers to rid themselves of their summer seasonal and close-out inventory to make room for fall resets.” – Juli Lennett

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