Six Ways to Compete With Amazon Prime Day 2017

by Robert Balfour and Andrew Leffler

It all started just a couple of years ago. Amazon had already been a thorn in the side of brick-and-mortar retail, but stores could always count on back-to-school shopping and Black Friday for guaranteed foot traffic in stores. And then, Amazon Prime Day was announced in 2015 – a one–day only global shopping event soley for Prime members. Even with the promise of exclusive deals and free shipping, Prime Day launched on a rocky start. Users complained of website and app issues and the product deals felt like a giant garage sale to clean out Amazon’s warehouses of unpopular items.

But Amazon took that user feedback, combined it with the sales numbers they did make, and in 2016 they convinced more brands and sellers to offer enticing deals on products people wanted. As a result, Amazon had its biggest sales day ever. Yes, even bigger than Black Friday.

Amazon said customer orders surpassed Prime Day 2015 by more than 60 percent worldwide and more than 50 percent in the United States. It was also the biggest day ever for sales of Amazon devices, including Fire TV, Fire tablets, Kindle e-readers, and Alexa-enabled devices such as Echo and Tap. The company also touted sales for its third-party sellers. These sellers, who offered Prime Day discounts, saw orders nearly triple year-over-year on Prime Day globally. Amazon also reportedly sold more than than two million toys, more than one million pairs of shoes, approximately 90,000 TVs, and hundreds of thousands of Kindle e-readers on Prime Day.

Knowing what Prime Day is capable of, retailers need to jump on planning for 2017’s back-to-school season now. Here are six ways to compete with Prime Day 2017:

  1. Timing is everything. Prime Day and shifting school calendars have moved the back-to-school shopping season a whole month earlier than in years past. As a result, many people now start their back-to-school shopping online in early to mid-July. Retailers and suppliers need to source their inventory and promote sales earlier to preempt Prime Day.
  2. Assist your key retailers by facilitating assisted selling events to drive sales. Staff key locations with support personal to interact with customers. Did you know that 40 percent of shoppers make a purchase after a positive interaction with a sales associate? This is a reflection on highly trained sales staff that know how to communicate with customers and are able to give educated insight into products.
  3. Increase your training cadence in your high traffic retail stores with your training materials. Send your dedicated training team in-store to build brand awareness and create advocacy for your product line up. The right 3PL will not only help staff and manage these teams, but also create unique training content and also collect information to give you actionable insights to the retail space.
  4. Increase your social media targeted marketing. 75 percent of shoppers use social media for recommendations on purchases, whether it be word of mouth of targeted ads.  If your brand doesn’t use an omnichannel approach to market to the fastest growing segment of shopping habits, you will continue to miss out on valuable revenue bands.
  5. Consider one of many experiential marketing events to grab customers attention such as sporting events, media events, pop up kiosks, etc. The right partner will not only help you determine where these locations should be, but also when and how to staff them with the right team.  Do not work with a partner who can only offer headcount as the turnover will outweigh the benefits of the program.  Remember, retail has the highest cost of acquisition!  Your success hinges on more than just headcount.
  6. Lastly, consider a promotional window to make your products more competitive. This should be a last defense and considered a short term solution only as it creates a competition between you and your entire distribution channel that will ultimately impact your bottom line.

Implementing these tactics to combat Prime Day will take time and resources, but in the end, they will pay off in big ways. MarketSource can even handle it all for you. Our experts will work with you to define your challenges and design a turnkey solution that produces results. Learn about our assessment process and contact us today.

Topic: Retail

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Robert Balfour, director of business development, is a 30 year veteran in the consumer goods and electronics industry with significant expertise in business development, sales, and sales management. Robert writes about innovations in products and field marketing strategies that make the management of consumer goods sales easier to navigate.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andrew Leffler, director of business development, is a skilled sales professional with a demonstrated history of working in the onshore outsourcing industry. His specialties include retail, sales training, store management, and customer relationship management (CRM).

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