5 Strategies for Retailers to Crush It Around Amazon Prime Day

June 19, 2023
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Amazon Prime Day 2023 is just a month away. While the actual date is a moving target, it usually takes place on July 12 to 13, making now the perfect time for those last-minute adjustments to your Amazon Prime Day marketing and getting ideas and inspiration for campaigns that will help you make this one of your best sales days ever.

The investment is expected to be worth it. Since it started in 2015, Amazon Prime Day’s global sales revenue has increased consistently, reaching $12.09 billion in 48 hours in 2022. Moreover, the latest statistics show that over 100 of the top 250 retailers launched their own sales events to compete with Prime Day. Over the same two-day period, US consumers spent $11.9 billion on eCommerce sites.[*]

Brands and retailers this year, should continue investing in promotions, deals, discounts, and flash sales to gain shoppers’ attention, as well as lowering prices so they can compete with Amazon’s offerings. Beyond that, there must also be a focus on delivering exceptional customer journeys to truly stand out.

Let’s look at five strategies that can help you not only boost your sales on Amazon Prime Day but also create meaningful customer experiences that make your brand worth coming for.

Who are The Shoppers?

In 2022, the average household spend in the US during Prime Day was roughly $144.56, spending on these top five categories: household essentials, healthy & beauty, consumer electronics, apparel & shoes, and home & garden.[*]

Moreover, showing how Prime Day also benefits other brands and retailers, shoppers have also bought items in certain categories that weren’t an Amazon brand:

  • Grocery (56%)
  • Apparel & shoes (52%)
  • Household essentials (9%)
  • Consumer electronics (48%)
  • Smart home devices (26%)

Considering the current state of the economy, with the looming recession and increasing prices, there’s important information to consider to make the most out of Amazon Prime Day 2023. The financial hit Americans have taken over the past few years potentially makes Prime Day deals even more enticing to a consumer.

In 2022, with inflation impacting 83% of Prime Day shoppers, nearly a third, or 34% waited for a good deal to purchase a specific item at a discounted price, while 28% passed on a sale because it wasn’t a necessity. Inflation also pushed 22% of individuals to look for better prices outside of Amazon before buying.

As shoppers continue to be mindful of the threat of recession, brands and retailers should expect them to be spending less or looking for cheaper or better alternatives. It’s also safe to say that shoppers will be eyeing big savings—but discounts are not the only strategy that can be used to catch their eye. 

Strategy #1: Optimize Extensions for a Better Shopping Experience

Affiliate extensions are helpful in both acquiring traffic to your website and increasing conversions. It can be difficult, however, to evaluate the attribution and contribution of each extension to the overall customer experience and bottom line.

To make the most of the upcoming Amazon Prime Day shopping spree, you first need to identify the extensions that effectively increase conversions and those that merely incur commissions without yielding significant results. Once you get a better understanding of how your affiliate extensions work, you can then run A/B tests and explore, for instance, the outcomes when your customers are not limited to price-comparison extensions or channel-specific coupon extensions.

Here’s the best part: with these insights, it’s time to deliver the shopping experience that’s most relevant to your customers. Prime Day shoppers expect great deals. So, with an effective affiliate extensions management tool, you can identify customers who actively seek out coupons and ensure they consistently encounter the best offers. Another application of this tool is the ability to retain your shoppers on-site by turning off extensions that divert shoppers to other websites.

Now, if shoppers do decide to abandon their journey on your site, you can still make sure they get a consistent experience. With an affiliate extensions management tool, you can deliver continuous customer journeys across emails and other digital campaigns that shoppers encounter from your brand.

Pro tip: Once you get customers interested in your offers, you should bundle up deals with the right merchandise to increase sales, especially with less popular products that can help you manage inventory. Now is also a good time to promote back-to-school offerings, which tend to peak around July.

Product bundling – iHerb

Strategy #2: Standout with a Branded Sales Event and a Cohesive Multichannel Campaign 

Although the awareness around Prime Day deals is high, the competition remains fierce. With so many brands trying to steal shoppers’ attention, it’s difficult to create a unique angle. So how do you grab your customers’ attention? Brands that implement their own sales event, complemented by a streamlined experience across channels, will gain a significant advantage over competitors.

Last year, a host of retailers held their sales to compete with Amazon’s 2-day sale holiday. Target offered “Deal Days”. Best Buy’s “Black Friday in July” was 72 hours long. Wayfair had “Summer of Deals”.  Walmart launched a multi-day sale called “Deals for Days”. With 24% of Prime Day shoppers purchasing from other retail websites,[*] this is something that you shouldn’t miss.

Branding your sales event can make it more memorable and unique. If you plan to do it yearly, you can even build a strong customer following who will look forward to it. So, what does a robust multichannel campaign look like? Make sure that you’re already doing the following:

  • Advertise across multiple channels: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and many more, according to where your potential shoppers reside.
  • Retarget shoppers who looked at your offerings in the past (and retarget Prime Day viewers again in two weeks).
  • Test, optimize, and test again – on the fly. Be ready with several sub-campaigns so you can switch in real-time based on what your shoppers are doing live.
  • Stay active on social media with real-time marketing for trending events. Also, incorporate videos down-to-earth, personal videos in your social media or email advertisements. Videos tend to gain higher traction and engagement rates compared to text – even more so if they’re relatable.
  • Send emails to your customers before and during Prime Day.
  • Advertise through influencers to extend your reach to new audiences.

Doing the above can help you create multiple customer touchpoints that strengthen your sales cycles. A branded sales event combined with a comprehensive campaign strategy can also enable you to tell a more enticing and holistic story of your brand – one that serves as a foundation for long-term relationships with your customers.

Complementing social media promotion for special sales events – Target

Pro tip: Once you get customers interested in your offers, you should bundle up deals with the right merchandise to increase sales, especially with less popular products that can help you manage inventory. Now is also a good time to promote back-to-school offerings, which tend to peak around July.

Strategy #3: Leverage Shopper Intent to Generate More Effective Customer Journeys

Promotions are the cornerstone of Amazon Prime Day campaigns, with consumers expecting slashed prices and significant discounts. Many shoppers will be browsing around other eCommerce sites to compare the prices to Amazon, ensuring they’re receiving the best deal. The key here is to capture their attention at the exact moment they’re on your website with the best deal.

Offers and promotions like BOGO, coupons, percentage discounts, first-time shoppers discounts, and limited-time offers will help to accelerate sales. However, since no customer is exactly alike, the same promotion for all is not a productive solution. This is because each shopper’s intent is different in every session depending on website behavior, the device used, changing price sensitivity, and many other factors, making every visitor truly unique.

Developing personalized promotions based on shopper intent will effectively increase the success of these offers. Moreover, these individualized incentives will help to differentiate your brand as shoppers get the exact promotions they need and want, while at the same time, saving your margins by avoiding promotion overspend.

Promotions on the homepage – Gap

Another way to use intent is to direct shoppers to places on your site you want them to see. Analyzing visitor intent, such as the likelihood of making a purchase, leaving without purchasing, returning, or interacting with coupons, you can customize the journey individual shoppers go through on your site. The same applies to creating segments based on intent. You can tailor announcements, for example, based on shoppers who are interested in the latest trends, located in places with hot or cold weather, or frequent users of coupons.

Pro tip: Build a smart promotional sales strategy to increase conversions and profitability without dipping into your margins.

Strategy #4: Deliver on Competitive Shipping and Returns Policy 

Amazon has set the standard for rapid shipping for free in one or two days. In fact, 79.8% of shoppers[*] choose Amazon over competitors due to fast and free shipping, even when the price and product are equal. While it’s hard for brands to compete with this caliber, it’s reassuring to know shoppers still purchase from brands that offer satisfactory shipping options. Depending on your operations, you can offer a variety of fulfillment options just like Walgreens.

A variety of free fulfillment options on orders – Walgreens

Improving the fulfillment side of the online shopping experience also involves transparency and reliability. These are important factors because they create a sense of trust with shoppers. Shoppers want to know that their package will arrive on time for situations they have, like back-to-school or the holidays. They also want to be able to know when they can expect the product to arrive. This can be provided by giving the customer a tracking number on the order.

In addition to fast and free shipping, Amazon’s easy returns policy is enough for 43.7% of shoppers to shop on the eCommerce giant. Since rising return rates, however, are leading to billions of dollars in lost revenues for retailers,[*] the key is prevention. You can have a competitive returns policy, just like Amazon’s. To make your business more sustainable, however, the goal is to prevent shoppers from returning items at all. How can you do that? 

The top five reasons why customers return products include incorrect size, damage, poor quality, items not looking the same as photos online, and incorrect items being sent.[*] To address these, retailers can look into product visualization tools such as ones that employ advanced technologies like augmented reality. The more in-depth shoppers can experience the products online before purchasing, the more likely they will buy one that won’t end up being returned.

Free shipping offers on orders – Gap

Pro tip: Shipping delays are unavoidable, so keep shoppers in the know even after the purchase by setting up a tracking and customer support system, helping them stay in the know.

Strategy #5 Build and Maintain Brand Loyalty

Although Amazon Prime Day happens once a year, happy shoppers will stay with you for a prolonged amount of time. Building customer loyalty to create meaningful connections for long-term relationships and ongoing sales is a must. This is particularly crucial in the face of an upcoming recession. In fact, 50% of consumers are ready to switch to less expensive brands. While roughly 40% plan to keep loyal to brands they currently purchase from but will consume them less often.[*]

Brand loyalty starts with a good shopping experience – from the website itself and the order process to product quality and support requests. It then continues with brand loyalty programs, which offer members access to benefits, discounts, and coupons that are exclusively available. Loyalty programs not only create brand engagement and meaningful relationships, and turn your customers into brand advocates, but they can also help brands during a recession. 

According to a McKinsey survey, free loyalty program members spend 30% more with the brand after joining, reaching 60% for paid loyalty programs.[*] The connection that’s built through the various perks that loyalty programs provide is what can motivate your shoppers to come back for more, preventing them to switch to other brands even through tough times. 

Brand loyalty program – Sephora

Pro tip: Use Prime Day promotions as an opportunity for shoppers to sign up for your loyalty program, laying a solid foundation for the future.

What to Do in the Upcoming Week

As Amazon Prime Day approaches, there’s still time to make changes to your campaigns that can have a long-term effect on your ROI and sales KPIs. Create Amazon Prime Day campaigns that you can test and try out, have your marketing and digital teams ready for a 48-hour sprint that will require real-time changes, update your website and product listings, and be sure to put a promotion strategy in place to get the most out of this key shopping holiday.