Prime Day: it’s the “Christmas in July” that Amazon single-handedly whipped up, creating one of America’s busiest shopping periods seemingly out of thin air three years ago.
And while Amazon may have conceived Prime Day to drive web traffic in the run-up to back to school, retailers across the board can benefit from the revival of consumer thirst for mid-summer deal hunting. Amazon hasn’t yet announced the specific dates for the next Prime Day, but CNET.com predicts it’ll likely fall around July 10, if previous years are any indication.
In surveying 200 retailers and analyzing 500,000 offers from its internal data, RetailMeNot.com, Inc. discovered that savvy merchants are capitalizing on the “halo effect” around Prime Day, and in fact, the vast majority of consumer activity on its website on Prime Day 2017 was for non-Amazon retailers.
“We expect Prime Day to rise in the rankings again this year with the potential to rival the popularity of Black Friday and Cyber Monday,” Marissa Tarleton, RetailMeNot’s CMO, said. “The day is here to stay, and it benefits consumers and retailers alike.”
Now that they understand that Prime Day has “primed” consumers to begin preparing for the back-to-school frenzy, retailers are targeting shoppers accordingly with deals of their own. Comparing Prime Day 2016 and 2017, the number of unique retail offers on RetailMeNot.com skyrocketed 340 percent from 27 to 116 as merchants looked to muscle in on market share instead of simply conceding the shopping holiday—and its attendant revenue—to Amazon.
RetailMeNot.com observed a stark difference in activity on its site: retailers actively promoting their Prime Day offers on its platform saw traffic to their store pages climb 40 percent on average, while traffic to store pages dipped 4 percent for merchants without a Prime Day strategy.
As Prime Day grows in importance for all retailers, they’re getting more creative with messaging, too: a number of the coupon codes use wording such as “Christmas in July,” “Prime Time,” or “Cyber Monday in July,” RetailMeNot.com found. What’s more, retailers are taking a page from Amazon’s Prime Day book, offering limited-time deals to create urgency, slashing prices, throwing in free shopping and promoting site-wide discount codes.
Tarleton said Prime Day represents “huge opportunity” for both brick-and-mortar and online retailers. “This relatively new shopping holiday has quickly become the kickoff for the back-to-school shopping season,” she added. “In both sales and opportunity, this day is transformative not just for Amazon but for all retailers savvy enough to capitalize on it.”
Of the $167 that consumers plan to spend on Prime Day shopping this year, $70 will be earmarked for back-to-school deals, said RetailMeNot, which also surveyed parents to understand their purchasing plans. In fact, back-to-school drives 91 percent of parents’ shopping activity on Prime Day. Operating off the belief that Prime Day more or less kicks off the back-to-school season, 60 percent of retailers are planning to promote their offers ahead of the Amazon holiday, RetailMeNot discovered. Fifty-four percent will align their offers to the shopping occasion itself, and another 53 percent will market to shoppers in the subsequent days who “may have missed out.”