Amazon.com, Inc., the ecommerce and cloud computing juggernaut based out of Seattle, is 24 years old. And, four years ago, in honor of its 20th birthday (so it said) it launched Amazon Prime Day, a retail holiday filled with deals on everything from electronics to household appliances and, of course, Amazon products. Prime Day starts on the afternoon of July 16, 2018 and runs all day through July 17, 2018.
Amazon benefits in multiple ways as a 250-million-customer business with half-a-million employees and gross revenues topping about 178 billion US dollars. First, they get to offload inventory that has been languishing in their warehouses through partnerships with their sellers, especially as new models of products are set to be announced. Additionally, they get to push their own line of Amazon electronics and consumer products into customers’ hands and homes; from the Amazon Echo line of products (now numbering about 10 different models), Amazon Kindle ereaders, and Amazon Basics home goods products. Finally, they get to expand on their 100 million Amazon Prime members. The more Prime members, the more expensive it is to give all those benefits to those of us who shell out the 120 USD per year for the program to get free 2-day shipping, and a host of other benefits. So, they have to keep the new Prime members coming to keep up with the rising costs of shipping and handling. Altogether, Prime Day is a slam dunk for Amazon.
So, how are other retailers responding to Amazon’s shopping day?
Target will offer special deals July 17, overlapping with Amazon Prime Day https://t.co/7bxBPohoxj
— MarketWatch (@MarketWatch) July 13, 2018
Well, it appears Target is none too happy, so it has decided to ride the coattails of Prime Day with its own exclusive offers.
— Business Insider (@businessinsider) July 11, 2016
Walmart, eBay, Macy’s and more have followed suit. They are defending their summer retail sales as much as they are seeing Amazon Prime Day for the opportunity it is. This leads me to you, the Small Business owner. Whether you are a retailer or service business, now is the time to take advantage of Amazon Prime Day! Just as Small Business Saturday provides a platform to showcase your business as being a part of your local community and economy, come up with a way that you can surf the Prime Day wave of website traffic, deals and more…in two ways.
The prime way (pun intended) is to offer a deal yourself that coincides with Prime Day, or the week following. If you’re a spa, restaurant or massage therapist, have a deal for the evenings of Prime Day sales, as a way to soothe your customers after their hard work scouring the Web for deals. Have fun with it!
If you’re a retail shop, price match Amazon deals for Prime members; simply have them come in and prove their Amazon Prime membership with their mobile phone app in-store. (You can also have them screenshot their Amazon Prime membership page and email it to your business for you to review and email back a discount code.)
If you provide customization for your products that Amazon cannot do, make sure that you tout that in your Social Media, via email marketing newsletters, and to the press. That’s an angle that local journalists would be interested potentially in covering.
Also, think about the big purchases you might have made later in the year and see if Amazon Prime Day doesn’t have a discount worth taking advantage of, for your business. By buying it during Prime Day and then publicizing the purchase on Social Media, this too can get the attention of local media that might not have considered the effect of Prime Day on small business owners snagging some of the deals. This doesn’t and won’t work for everyone, especially if you weren’t planning on buying Amazon smart devices or a big appliance (like a fridge for your café) or electronics (such as a television for your conference room). The point is to keep in mind that your buying power as a business is also publicity, at times.
You should note that because Amazon Prime Day is on Monday, it’s not too late. You can offer discounts for an entire week, or the whole rest of the month of July. Similar to Restaurant Week participants that extend their restaurants’ prix fixe menus for more than a week, you control the deals and their length. What’s dragging down your sales, languishing in your inventory? Put that on discount now. Are you getting new products in a couple of months and want to move product before its obsolete? Now’s an opportune time.
Yes, Big Box retailers, and “etailers” like Amazon.com, make it harder for Small Business at times. But, as a Small Business, you have your local community to reach out to to support your business. Take advantage of these moments when consumers are paying attention to get your deals in front of them too.