Prime Day Signals New Dawn for Retailers

Amazon proved traditions are, in fact, meant to be broken with its self-manufactured retail holiday, Prime Day. Occurring on July 15, Prime Day sought to not only celebrate Amazon’s 20th anniversary, but also bolster its Prime membership by offering extreme discounts. While retailers typically reserve these types of deep discounts for tried and true retail holidays like Black Friday or Cyber Monday, the success of Prime Day suggests that retailers need to rethink their discounting strategy in order to maintain and reinvigorate customer loyalty, attract new customers and build their bottom lines.

“ Inc. said Thursday that after the success of its Prime Day sales event, in which it sold more items than on any other Black Friday, it will make Prime Day an annual event. The e-commerce giant said it sold 398 items per second on Wednesday, or 34.4 million items across Prime-eligible countries, which was 18% more than on Black Friday 2014,” reported MarketWatch.

And with Amazon more often than not serving as the bellwether for retail, it was not surprising that a number of retailers latched on to Prime Day in hopes of profiting from the swell in online shopping by bargain hunters:
  • Wal-Mart: Listed thousands of items at “rollback prices.” It even lowered its shipping minimum from $50 to $35.
  • Newegg: Hosted a “Fantastech” Sale that offered 20 to 90 percent off a wide range of electronics, plus free shipping.
  • Best Buy: Conducted a 24-hour sale the same day, sharing in online promotions—“No membership needed for these deals.”
  • Target: Extended its “Black Friday in July” sale to July 17 in order to capture customers who would already be seeking online bargains because of Prime Day.
The retailers who jumped on the Prime Day bandwagon did, in fact, benefit. reported that according to data from HookLogic, which does performance marketing for brands, retailers in its partner network (including Wal-Mart, Target and Best Buy) experienced nearly double the daily traffic compared to the week previous. Traffic peaked at 7 a.m. (EST), when it spiked to 2.5 times the average.

The eagerness of retailers to attach themselves to their competitor’s anniversary sale, as well as their resulting success in doing so, makes it likely that there could a growing number of retailers that use their corporate milestones as excuses for anniversary flash sales in the future. Or if Amazon continues Prime Day in 2016 and beyond, retailers will most likely find ways to connect themselves to the holiday that clearly demonstrated its potential in helping brands cultivate greater customer loyalty, reach new customers and grow sales in what continues to be a sluggish retail season.