It’s still this week. The week I’ve dreaded and anticipated in equal measure since 2015. The week that can make or break non-Q4 brand sales: Amazon
I brought up the subject of Prime Day a few weeks ago in a group chat with other e-commerce industry leaders. A virtual groan arose. “I mean, how many more robot vacuums do we really need?” joked the CMO of an e-commerce technology company. Some agreed, lamenting the predictability of the manufacturing frenzy. Others like me noted that we were actually in the market for items like robot vacuums due to life changes, like moving, and were looking forward to the trade event.
It was the perfect pastiche of Prime Day 2022 and how brands approach it. 7 years after the inaugural event, some brands are impatiently anticipating it, while others are taking action or completely ignoring it. Like Black Friday, Christmas, Mother’s Day and other shopping events, a playbook has emerged for Prime Day – both from Amazon and the brands selling there. We can expect big discounts on Amazon devices like Kindles and Alexa-enabled devices. We can expect influencers to offer deals on live videos. We can expect some tempting, but usually not jaw-dropping, deals from brands that sell on Amazon.
But it can be dangerous to take a rote, “here we go again” position. While I’m not expecting a huge change from Amazon’s own Prime Day playbook, there are always new angles that other brands are trying, and apparently small tests that Amazon is running back. -plan. Here are some of the things that are different this year that should not go unnoticed.
1. Brands promote their offers off-channel
There was a time when the ultimate concern for brands was that Amazon would somehow cannibalize their DTC or their retail sales. For the most part, brands have now concluded that they should enable purchases where the buyer is most comfortable transacting.
Recognizing the value of outside traffic, Amazon also launched Amazon Attribution and the Brand Referral Bonus program to incentivize brands to participate and go to great lengths to acquire new buyers.
That’s why we’re seeing more and more brands promoting their Prime Day deals through other marketing channels like email marketing.
Mobvoi, a consumer electronics brand, promoted its Prime Day deals through an email sendout earlier this week.
And Instanatural, a beauty brand, has already announced a 40% discount on its Instagram page.
2. Other retailers are piling up
Other retailers have launched competing trade events since Prime Day was born.
Over the years, they have become less subtle. This email campaign from clothing retailer ThredUp was one of the cheekiest I’ve seen.
“Drop that other useless sale!” an email campaign the retailer said, offering a deep discount and appealing to its customers’ desire for more environmentally friendly shopping alternatives.
Amazon has historically waited until the very last moment to confirm Prime Day dates. This year the dates were released earlier than usual – three weeks later. This could mean either it was a poorly-kept secret that was likely to surface – or that Amazon is acknowledging that an industry-wide sales event is in fact causing a rising tide. lifting all stores.
Buyers have become alert to major sales events over the summer months. Instead of waiting for discretionary buys, they can buy them early or stock up on consumables during the sale.
3. Save deals for later…or let Alexa order for you
It’s become easier for shoppers to follow brands and products so they can jump on an offer when it goes live. One hack for shoppers is to add a bunch of items to their cart and get notified by Amazon when they’re on sale.
This is generally good news for brands, especially when they spend on advertising to get in front of these shoppers and hope they come back to buy later. Indeed, increasing ad spend well in advance of the event is a strategy we recommend at my agency, Bobsled Marketing. Expanding the potential audience, which is in research mode ahead of Prime Day, means you can request certain items to be added to cart and repurchased later, or for shoppers who have escaped – retarget them later via ad campaigns DSP (Demand Side Platform) .
This year, there’s a new way for shoppers to keep tabs on deals: Alexa. Shoppers can now ask Alexa to purchase the item for them, with certain parameters regarding price and timing. Todd Hassenfelt, Head of Ecommerce Strategy and Growth Planning at Colgate-Palmolive
Hassenfelt says it could help savvy brands if they encourage people via social or email campaigns to add their brand’s products to Amazon carts or wishlists to be eligible for these deal alerts.
4. Amazon Released Deals Earlier
Amazon often sells “offer” inventory to brands using wide time windows – this happens both during shopping events and every other day of the year. Some brands have been disappointed to buy access to Prime Day deals, only to find that Amazon has sold out their deals earlier than the big event.
“Many flash deals scheduled for Prime Day fell outside of the published Prime Day window of July 12-13,” Gwen McShea, president of Lean Edge Marketing, said in a post on LinkedIn. Many shoppers wait for their transactions before Prime Day in hopes of getting a good discount. “At close range… they’re going to be less effective because of the timing.
Some brands have opted out of Prime Day this year, in part due to inflationary pressures on profit margins. In a survey of my agency’s clients, two of the top three challenges brands anticipate around Prime Day 2022 relate to the macro economy: lower profit margins due to inflation (28%), standing out in the crowd (26%) and limited stock availability (16%).
With Prime Day and concurrent sale events now a mainstay of the retail calendar, there’s no avoiding the fact that shoppers now expect to enjoy the thrill of shopping a big sale. Brands can seize this opportunity or stay away.