By Joe Keenan
Published July 12th 2017 on Total Retail.
This past Tuesday was Amazon Prime Day, the online retailer’s third annual global shopping event exclusively for its Prime members. The day brought positives and negatives for Amazon, as it looked to further cement its position as the leading online retailer in the market.
Let’s start with the positives:
- Amazon is reporting Prime Day was its “biggest day ever,” with sales outpacing the combined value of its 2016 Black Friday and Cyber Monday results.
- Prime Day 2017 sales increased by more than 60 percent from last year’s Prime Day.
- Traffic on Prime Day 2017 increased nearly 5 percent year-over-year.
- More consumers signed up for Prime, Amazon’s $99 per year loyalty program, on Prime Day than on any other day in the company’s history.
So you’re probably thinking, what are the negatives? Well, there were a few that Amazon may want to take note of:
- Conversion rates for Amazon Prime Day dropped by more than 20 percent in 2017, according to SimilarWeb. One in nine visits to Amazon on Prime Day 2017 resulted in a purchase compared to one in seven visits on Prime Day last year.
- A glitch caused the Prime button to be missing from some third-party merchants’ product listings, keeping buyers from knowing whether an item was eligible for Prime savings and shipping.
Overall, one would have to say that Amazon scored another winner with its Prime Day event. Plenty of analysts and service providers have shared their reactions to Prime Day; here’s a sampling of what was said:
“Prime Day’s success is another wakeup call for retailers everywhere. Prime Day is a promotional event, and every retailer can, and does, run promotions. The difference with Amazon is that Prime membership is all about locking customers into their fulfillment experience. So many other retailers still seem to miss the point that order fulfillment is critical to customer loyalty. Not all retailers can offer the world’s biggest product selection, but many can combine their online presence and, unlike Amazon, their brick-and-mortar locations to offer customer convenience and instant gratification through a differentiated omnichannel strategy. With the right strategy, they can also tie into Amazon for trickle-down success. Question is: will Prime Day 2018 be a success for Amazon alone or spur omnichannel investment in retail overall?” — Nick McLean, CEO, OrderDynamics
“At this point, if a retailer isn’t capitalizing on Amazon Prime Day, they’re passing up a huge opportunity. Strategically, it’s a no-brainer to go head-to-head with the retail juggernaut because, for three years now, shoppers have been systematically ‘trained’ to not only anticipate the best deals and promotions from Amazon, but to also assume they will see the same ‘sales frenzy’ from other leading retailers come mid-July.” — Tushar Patel, chief marketing officer, Kibo
“Customer experience should be a main focus for retailers. Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods shatters the artificial division between physical and digital; consumers weave in and out of these realms without giving them any thought — it’s a singular customer experience, end-to-end. Retailers need to take the same view, offering a seamless experience by relying on a single source of truth to reach consumers with the right message, at the exact right moment.” — Lori Mitchell-Keller, global general manager of consumer industries, SAP
“Retailers should take the success of Amazon Prime Day as a kick in the pants to get to know their customers better and create highly personalized offerings and experiences. Retailers should leverage data and analytics to do so, such as in-store sensor technology and machine learning, to gather and analyze data on shopper patterns. With this data, retailers can improve the in-store experience, from what products are offered to store layout, improving overall customer experience and therefore competing against online retailers.” — Soumya Das, chief marketing officer, Inpixon