Promising ‘more deals than Black Friday’, Amazon’s Prime Day served to reward its loyal customers and raise the profile of the service.
‘Happy Prime Day!’ was the greeting I received from Amazon on Wednesday July 15. It was Amazon’s 20th birthday, which promised Prime users ‘more deals than Black Friday’.
New deals started as often as every 10 minutes, spanning everything from electronics, toys, video games, movies, clothing and beauty.
“We’re offering Prime members thousands of deals on Prime Day. In fact, in the UK we are offering more than double the number of deals that we offered last Black Friday,” said Christopher North, managing director at Amazon UK.
But do consumers want more deals than Black Friday in July? One of the features of last year’s Black Friday was that it brought forward Christmas spending and allowed consumers to make purchases they may have already been planning to make, but at a lower cost.
This was not universal, particularly as retailers made offers on big-ticket items such as TVs, which are unlikely to have all been gifts. But much of the hype around Black Friday is around gifts and that gives consumers a reason to make a purchase.
For Amazon, Prime Day served several purposes; firstly it allowed the retailer to reward its most loyal customers, while also raising the profile of the Prime service, which it was offering at a reduced rate in the run up to the event. It also closely aligned the Amazon brand with Black Friday for consumers, which raised the profile of Prime Day further.
By enticing new members in through events such as Prime Day, Amazon is increasing its loyal customer base; once shoppers are enrolled in the service, they are typically more loyal to Amazon and spend more with the etailer than non-members.
It also serves to show how far ahead the online giant is compared with many of its competitors when it comes to fulfilment. Prime costs consumers £79 a year, entitling them to services such as unlimited one-day delivery of goods and streaming of films and TV episodes. In some parts of London, members can get one-hour delivery on more than 10,000 items.
This is another show of strength and dominance from Amazon, but the next question is will consumers buy into it? That remains to be seen.