Expect to see more retailers offering deals this week online, as they work to compete with Amazon’s Prime Day event, which starts Monday July 16th at 3 PM and continues for 36 hours—the longest event yet, Amazon said.
“It’s been such a successful event for Amazon -- breaking its single sales day records -- that other retailers are starting to leverage it in email campaigns, especially in electronics,” said Kim Saxton, clinical professor of marketing at the IU Kelley School of Business on IUPUI’s campus. “Other companies are pairing up with Amazon to launch new products. I expect anyone who has a competitive product that isn’t on Prime will also promote discounts at this time.”
e-Bay is offering deals starting July 17, toting that customers don’t have to pay membership fees. Amazon’s Prime membership recently increased to $119 dollars a year. Target is also among the retailers announcing sales on Prime Day that don’t require a membership; Target is giving discounts to teachers on school supplies through July 21. The IndyStar/USA Today has a big list here with many other retailers offering discounts.
On Prime Day, Amazon offers deals and discounts to Prime members. It’s been a huge success for the company thus far. So much so, this year the company will host its longest event yet, and Amazon already is unrolling hype and marketing to Prime members, ensuring they know the company is offering more than a million deals.
“Prime Day is a trend we’ve seen in the marketplace: American consumers love a deal. Brands use Facebook or emails to give out discounts. They’ve essentially trained consumers to think they don’t need to buy anything until they see a deal,” said Saxton.
For consumers, Saxton says, make sure you’re buying what you need, not just what is on sale or what you want. Don’t make an impulse buy—because these discount days aren’t going away anytime soon.
“Consumers should be asking themselves: Is there a lower price somewhere else? Do I really need this?” Saxton explained.
“The ‘Christmas in July’ concept not only increases sales for Amazon, but it also makes people more comfortable with buying a wide variety of products online. Amazon is building future business by getting people comfortable with the online process,” said Kim Donahue, senior lecturer in marketing at Kelley. “People will discover they have to have a Prime membership for these deals, so many will purchase one - Thus generating sales for Amazon.”
So can other retailers keep up?
“Others can compete, but they need to have a different customer experience,” said Donahue. “They’re still not going to beat Amazon at their own game.”
“I think you’re going to continue to see increased use of loyalty programs with incentives aimed to trigger purchases by consumers,” said Saxton. “Retail stores, like Kohl's, have always done this with coupons. This Amazon Prime Day or other email discounts are just digital equivalents.”