Multi-Location Retailers React to Amazon Prime Big Deal Days

Multi-Location Retailers React to Amazon Prime Big Deal Days

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Just when you thought the holiday shopping season couldn’t start any earlier, Amazon has upped the ante. The e-commerce behemoth’s decision to hold another Prime Day-like promotion more than two months before Christmas is upending the traditional sales calendar and pushing other retailers to start offering holiday deals earlier in the season.

Walmart, Best Buy, and Kohl’s are just a few of the multi-location retailers starting their holiday events earlier than usual, launching targeted promotions and holiday sales weeks before Black Friday. 

The decision to kick off the holiday season earlier each year is part of a larger push among retailers to capture consumer attention and spread out holiday shopping over a longer period of time, to avoid overwhelming demand during peak periods. 

Amazon’s Prime Big Deal Days promotion also piggybacks on the success of the company’s annual Prime Day, which has been held each July since 2015. Prime Day is meant to reward Prime members by offering them exclusive discounts and deals on a wide range of products. Over the years, Prime Day has evolved into a two-day event, and has grown to become one of the biggest online shopping events worldwide. Not only has it changed the way consumers shop, but it’s also influenced other retailers to create their own competing sales events. 

This July’s Prime Day was the single-largest sales day in Amazon’s history. 

Brick-and-Mortars Rush to Compete

According to debit and credit card data collected from 2019 to 2022 by Affinity Solutions’ Consumer Purchase Insights, Amazon’s spending share during Prime Day is significantly higher than non-Prime Days during the same month, seeing 20% increases in market share every year since 2019. 

Timing a new Prime Big Deal Days promotion to begin in October, before most other retailers have even begun to launch their own holiday promotions, could give Amazon a big leg up over the competition. But, that doesn’t mean other brick-and-mortar brands are giving up. ad

Target has said it plans to run Deal of the Day promotions through Christmas Eve for members of its free Circle loyalty program, and dozens of top multi-location retail chains are launching holiday promotions well ahead of Black Friday this year.

Brick-and-mortar stores have some distinct advantages over Amazon, and the smartest marketing teams are finding ways to capitalize on those differences before the holiday push begins.

“One of the benefits for brick and mortar stores over Amazon’s online platform is that they have inventory in locations close to the consumer,” says Peter Galvin, chief growth officer at NMI, a full commerce enablement platform. “So leveraging in-store inventory while allowing consumers to buy online and finalize the payment online or in store — and pick up in store — provides the simplicity of shopping online with the convenience of getting your merchandise in minutes or hours vs. days or weeks, allowing merchants to compete with Amazon’s online dominance.”

A Season of Discounts

According to Adobe, U.S. holiday sales are expected to hit $221 billion this holiday shopping season, representing a 4.8% growth year-over-year. Discounts are also expected to hit record highs, peaking at 35%-off for toys, 30%-off for electronics and 25%-off for apparel.

Although the decision to heavily discount products could put retailers’ profit margins in jeopardy, retailers can mitigate potential losses from discounted items by using strategies like dynamic pricing, bundling, targeted marketing, data analysis for inventory allocation, and fostering customer loyalty. 

Galvin suggests brick-and-mortar retailers hoping to compete with Amazon should prioritize speed and convenience in their checkout experiences to make it as easy as possible for customers to buy.

“While finding consumers and offering quality merchandise at competitive prices is alway important for retailers, many of them don’t pay attention to the final step in the process — payments. Ensuring a seamless payment experience is key to getting that final sale, and using new technologies like Apple Pay or Google Pay will allow consumers to quickly purchase with only one or two clicks,” Galvin says. “Retailers can also use other payment technologies from their payment providers, like tokenizing credit card data for repeat customers, to compete with Amazon’s online payment capabilities.”

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.