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The Retail Industry and Prime Day: What You Should Know

The Retail Industry and Prime Day: What You Should Know

Making the most of Prime Day means looking holistically at your digital strategy and optimizing the e-commerce experience you’re offering to your consumers.

Retailers have learned over time to prepare for – and capitalize upon – key moments in the year when consumers are most likely to make purchases. While the holiday season and Black Friday are among the best-known examples, many retailers now mark Prime Day on their calendar, too.

Originally launched in 2015, Prime Day is a two-day period in which Amazon showcases special promotions and discounts aimed at members of its subscription service. It’s a way for sellers on the digital marketplace to vie for the attention of Amazon’s most loyal customers, whether they’re offering books, clothing, home appliances or other products.

From an e-commerce perspective, Prime Day has achieved incredible growth over the past seven years. Research firm eMarketer estimates that the most recent Prime Day this past summer racked up US$7.6 billion in sales, an increase of nearly 17 per cent over 2021.

It’s important to recognize, however, that the opportunity to benefit from Prime Day isn’t limited to those selling directly on Amazon. In fact, Salesforce’s Shopping Index revealed online sales for brands and retailers selling directly through their own sites grew by eight per cent during the time Prime Day was held in early July.

This doesn’t mean retailers can count on Prime Day to automatically grow their business. Other data in the Shopping Index suggested certain retail shopping categories may have experienced softer sales due to oversaturation. There is also the impact of ongoing macroeconomic challenges, such as the rising inflation we’ve been experiencing in Canada.

Making the most of an opportunity like Prime Day means looking holistically at your digital strategy and what you can do to optimize the e-commerce experience you’re offering consumers. The best way to do that is with an automated platform, like Customer 360, that allows you to reach as many customers as possible, personalize their experiences at scale, and build lasting loyalty with each and every one.

Before Prime Day 2023 rolls around, make sure you:

1. Centralize data to align inventory levels with customer demand

If you’re going to offer your own special promotions or discounts to coincide with Prime Day, you’re going to want them tied to products that are in stock and ready to be shipped to customers. That may sound obvious, but sometimes siloed departments within a retail business create a disconnect between what’s in a warehouse and what’s being promoted on a website.

Break down those silos by making sure you have one trusted platform that provides visibility into product availability to those in marketing, sales and fulfillment operations teams. Having a single view of customer data will also allow you to see what products have proven popular in the past, and may be good candidates for promoting during Prime Day.

2. Humanize and personalize every single offer

Prime Day is aimed at Amazon’s massive customer base, but even retailers who sell outside of its marketplace can stand out by taking more of a one-to-one approach with their marketing.

This can start well before Prime Day by using marketing automation to segment customers based on purchase histories, and gleaning behavioural insights and intent data through tools like a customer data platform (CDP).

If you have a truly 360-degree view of each customer, you’ll know what they bought in the past. You’ll have seen where they’re clicked on your website and what they’ve saved in their shopping carts for future consideration. You’ll also know whether they respond best to special pricing and discount offers through a particular channel, such as e-mail or text message.

The best deals are those that seem like they were developed exclusively for each customer. Make that your mantra as you personalize and nurture customer relationships at scale, all the way into Prime Day next summer.

3. Streamline the path to every sale

One of the biggest lessons Amazon has taught the retail industry is the importance of making purchases easy. Compare its digital experience with your own. How many clicks will a customer have to make to select a product, but in a cart, key in their details and buy something? The more steps you can remove, the more likely they’ll act upon special pricing and discount offers.

This is about looking at the complete customer journey that people take with you, and can extend beyond your own site. Explore how to sell directly through social media platforms, for example, or through channels you own, like an e-mail newsletter. Look at how to enhance the experience through buy now, pay later (BNPL), click-and-collect and mobile wallet options.

During And After Prime Day: Continually Evaluate How To Exceed Customer Expectations

While many other peak periods in retail tend to fall towards the end of the year, Prime Day tends to take place in June or July. That makes Prime Day an opportune moment to not only drive more incremental sales, but to experiment and improve your long-term e-commerce strategy.

Make the most of analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to look at what kind of marketing creative resonated with customers, and why. Track the engagement across disparate channels to see if some should get greater priority. Weave in data from areas like customer service to identify additional ways to drive greater customer satisfaction by anticipating potential questions or problems.

A recent global survey from Salesforce found that firms using Customer 360 get to insights 29% faster than before. This can mean you’re able to test and learn what kind of pricing and promotional strategies contribute to a better customer experience all year long. If you operate physical stores, you may be able to apply some of the same e-commerce insights to enhance what shoppers see and feel when they’re browsing the aisles.

There’s no question Prime Day can bring big benefits to retailers, but showing up in the form of special deals is just the start. Start now with a plan to drive success during Amazon’s big event and in the days and months that follow.

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