The postponed Amazon Prime Day of 2020 has had new dates touted, but a report from CNBC suggests that the sale event, which actually lasted 48 hours in 2019, will take place on October 5 as the eCommerce giant looks to ensure the safety of employees, customers, and selling partners due to COVID-19. 

The highly-popular and well-documented annual sale event gives Prime members access to two days of savings as Amazon rolls out a bevvy of deals on all manner of merchandise. In 2019, Amazon Prime Day saw the juggernaut sell $7.16 billion worth of goods, up 71% from $4.19 billion in 2018. The primary reason for this jump was because the sale was 12 hours longer than last year, and no technical glitches like the prior year experienced. In addition, there were 10 million more Prime members, according to estimates from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP). 

This trend underlines the scale of the challenge SMB eCommerce retailers face in stacking up against Amazon Prime Day in the run-up to the holiday season, and why businesses need to optimise their efforts as the spoils fall the way of Amazon with 44% and 30% of the market share being taken by them in the US and UK respectively. So how can SMBs prepare to face up to the challenges that Amazon Prime Day brings and win back customers over this period: 

1. Creating your own ‘prime’ opportunities 

Firstly, in 2019 the Business Insider reported more than 250 retailers planned to offer competing discounts on Amazon Prime Day with some using phrases like 'prime time' to promote their sales. Given the connotations of the word ‘prime’ with the sale event, it is little surprise to see brands like Macy's and Zara, that are expected to have the highest competing discount rates, among the brands leveraging the use of the word "prime" in discount marketing. In using this marketing technique, eCommerce retailers can challenge Amazon by generating sales and a sense of urgency that they can own. 

2. Developing an effective customer relationship

The silver lining for retailers is that Amazon’s unique selling point is its super-low prices, and this means that retailers can champion other aspects of their experience in order to entice customers. The benefits of offering first-rate customer experience may outweigh the cost of products by the end of 2020 some predict, and from the perspective of a seller, it can help with customer retention beyond the sale event, improve upselling, and raise customer satisfaction. 

In fact, reports show 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience so if you can supply this then you can make it a USP at a time when Amazon are offering cut-price deals for a short period of time. 

3. Flexible purchasing policies 

Another way brands are moving to tick the box of increasing consumer demands and place themselves in a position to compete with the likes of Amazon is by offering convenient policies on delivery and returns as to incentivise purchases. A prime example is eCommerce sites that allow consumers to alter their delivery details, right up until an order is due for delivery, a key way to mitigate missed deliveries. Yet this service is only offered by 4% of retailers despite offering an impressive level of personalisation that will see you stay ahead of the curve.

4. Personalise your customer journey 

The primary way eCommerce sites can compete against Amazon over periods such as its own sale event is by capitalising on its weakness - the fact it can’t personalise to customers and capture brand loyalty quite like an eCommerce site can.

eCommerce businesses should carve out their own niche and show consumers what they want to see within that. This can include personalised content that they may want to use to make educated purchasing decisions, or remarketing campaigns that forefront offers that nurture consumers towards the end of the funnel. 

For example, Cloud.IQ’s customisable overlays - Visit Capture, Exit Capture and Cart Reminders - give you the capability to showcase discounts, encourage newsletter sign-ups and provide offers that resonate with the audience. By doing this at specific touchpoints through the customer journey, you will be able to prevent potential drop-offs where consumers exit your site, incentivise them to complete their purchases and ultimately level the playing field with bigger industry players over events such as Amazon Prime Day. To trial this solution that can help you win back customers, and provide you with the tools to stand up to Amazon, click here for a free trial

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