Amazon’s Prime Day event breathed new life into a tired format

Retail giant Amazon has recently celebrated turning twenty on the 15th July. To mark the event they launched their own retail discount event.

The “Prime Day” retail event was a global affair and boldly promised to go where no retailer has before “to have more deals than black Friday.” The one off retail bonanza was for exclusive prime members only, positioning the event as a reward for loyal customers rather than a free-for-all. Amazon immediately reported its Prime Day event as a runaway success with shoppers purchasing an estimated 34.4 million items in 24 hours.

Amazon have successfully shown the world of retail that brands can succeed in organising individual sales events. Amazon have breathed new life into the traditional format of seasonal sales and created their own format. Despite the quality of the sale items displayed on the “Prime Day” coming into question as many consumers took to various social media outlets to voice their frustrations, with some comparing it to a ‘bargain basement store’ or ‘yard sale filled with junk.’ Amazon still prospered as a result of their retail discount event.

Retail discount events are few and far between on the high streets today. Instead retailers generally co-ordinate their marketing activity around the seasonal calendar. The most successful discount day on any retailer’s calendar is ‘Black Friday.’ In recent years this event has driven mobs to crash through security & break down doors for the opportunity to buy the next “must have” material object. The ‘Black Friday’ discount day of 2014 was celebrated as a marketing triumph due to record sales from most retailers.

Creating a successful retail discount event can be unique from brand to brand, however there are some key traits which brands can follow:

  • Define the goal of your discount day
  • Keep it simple
  • Define your target group
  • Choose the right time & date
  • Offer significant savings
  • Build excitement – cultivate brand ambassadors
  • Actively engage with customers regularly (re-inforce the message)
  • Monitor activity
  • Be clear in your terms of service & rules of the sale

Although retail discount events offer a short term boost to sales, their role as part of a wider strategy can be huge. Amazon used theirs as a turnover booster, but it also did a great job of advertising their ‘Prime’ loyalty scheme. Other retail discount events such as department store’s ‘Black Friday’s’ use headline offers as footfall drivers to get customers in store where they can be tempted with additional (non-sale) products and offers.

Creating your own retail discount event can be a successful tool for your company to create awareness and generate a conversation around your brand. Amazon have utilised media and online channels to create momentum. Take Amazon’s lead be bold and courageous the results will speak for themselves.

Here at The Behaviours Agency, we believe that retailers should be bold and speak the language of shoppers to provide a retail experience that is memorable.  For any further information please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Lauren Lomas

Account Executive