School’s out for summer, but Prime Day will awaken even the sleepiest of teenagers—and most importantly, their teachers and parents who are all clamoring for the best deals. Over the past five years, we’ve seen an evolution of this day, transforming from a pureplay Amazon event into an industrywide cultural moment.
This year, the experience will transcend the retail space with live concerts, physical store integrations and an immersive cross-platform shopping experience. Amazon is raising the bar on Prime Day this year, and it promises to be the biggest transformation in U.S. ecommerce experience to date, particularly as a primer for the back-to-school season.
Back-to-school shopping will never be the same
Prime Day has become known as Summer Shopping Day, kicking off the always lucrative back-to-school shopping season, with grade-schoolers needing new shoes and pens, college students needing new comforters and mini fridges.Traditionally, this season has been tricky for marketers as back-to-school timing varies widely in the U.S. Prime Day has essentially solved this problem by offering deep deals to price-conscious shoppers and overcoming the traditional timing issues of a brick and mortar world.
Amazon is securing its leadership position by also launching a special Happy School Year online store, emphasizing Prime Day’s role in helping to “kick off back-to-school shopping.” This also reaches a new and influential segment of teachers that will use this to ensure the acquisition of much-needed (and often purchased out of pocket) school supplies.
Cultural movement to drive back to routine
Back-to-school is not just for families anymore. It is a cultural signal that also reminds us about the lazy days of summer coming to an end and that we eventually have to get back to routine. Amazon is leveraging this insight by featuring deep deals on routine based items like iRobots and Instapot. Not to mention that connected devices like the Echo can set consumers up for a more seamless re-entry post-summer. Active brands can leverage traffic and deals to capture or retain new consumers and then follow them with personalized messages throughout the back half of the year and into the holiday season.
Driving the flywheel
Amazon is leveraging Prime Day traffic to supercharge their Flywheel. Many brands are offering exclusives to Amazon, which is gaining priority over the private label offerings. There is an interplay between these that will have a halo effect on other key categories like apparel and finance. Apparel and beauty are of huge interest to Amazon as a place to drive both advertising sales as well as commerce. Both are growing but need to be supercharged to gain fair share in comparison to other retailers. Amazon is offering $80 gift cards to people who sign up for an Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card on Prime Day. Amazon wants to capture new consumers with different services, like financial, in order to offset eventual saturation of Prime memberships as well as drive more ad sales in these key categories.
So get ready to show off those new iRobots, TVs and Amazon credit cards come fall. Prime Day is here, and consumers everywhere are ready. Let’s see how brands show up to bring their best to the start of a prime shopping season.
Author: Amy Lanzi, EVP, Commerce Lead, NA Publicis Media