In case you missed it, Amazon held their first-annual Amazon Prime Day yesterday in which they touted deals “better than Black Friday” in order to promote their Amazon Prime subscription service. Today, the springbots analyzed the results of the sale to gather lessons of what to do (and what not to do) when running an eCommerce sale.
1. Generate buzz & excitement
What they did: Leading up to the sale, Amazon generated buzz with press releases that announced the sale, and they proclaimed it as a celebration for the company’s 20th birthday. A few days before the sale, they released teasers to show customers the kinds of deals they could look forward to on July 15th.
Amazon also used Prime Day as an opportunity to promote their cloud drive services. They launched a photo contest in which participants were asked to submit pictures of what “prime living” meant to them for a chance to win $10,000 in Amazon gift cards. As of the day after the sale, there are 3,315 photos on instagram with the tag #primeliving.
What you can do: Plan your promotions well ahead of the sale so that you have time to work out the details, plan your content, and execute it in a timely manner. This gives you more time to capture the attention of potential customers, generate excitement, and allow them to share your content with others. To generate even more engagement, integrate a relevant contest or giveaway with your sale.
2. Connect with influencers
What they did: To promote their #primeliving theme of Prime Day, Amazon partnered with 8 artists from around the world to express what ‘prime living” means to them.
What you can do: Every time you connect with influencers (whether they be artists, bloggers, local personalities, entrepreneurs, journalists, etc), you have the chance to tap into their networks and gain more visibility. The key is finding influencers who appreciate your products and who also have followers who align with your target market segment(s). You can search for influencers based on keywords relevant to your store with tools like BuzzSumo.
3. Leverage social media marketing
What they did: If you’ve taken a look at Amazon’s social media accounts within the past couple of weeks, you know that Prime Day is at the forefront of their social promotions. Not only did they announce the sale, but they also created unique and clever content that centered around their sale’s theme, “prime living”. Their posts included promotional graphics, product photos, customer appreciation photos, videos, and more.
What you can do: Looking at the volume and detail of Amazon’s social media posts may have you thinking, “Great for them, but they have a whole social media team to do that. I don’t have the time or resources to sit at my computer and schedule posts all day!” While scheduling the same amount of posts as Amazon may not be practical for your business, you can use services like Hootsuite to schedule posts ahead of time so that you can focus on other things like order fulfillment and customer service during the sale.
Springbot users can take it to the next level by integrating with Hootsuite or scheduling posts directly from their dashboard and tracking links in order to monitor the exact revenue generated from social media by channel and campaign. This makes it easier to analyze the results of your sales promotions and make adjustments for your next sale without having to guesstimate.
4. Make it exclusive
What they did: To gain access to the sale, potential customers who weren’t already Prime members had to sign up for a month-long free trial of the subscription in order to take advantage of the discounts. By gatekeeping sale participants, Amazon made Prime Day more intriguing to shoppers while adding more subscribers to their Prime subscription service.
What you can do: You can limit access to your sale by setting up a custom landing page for your sale and using it to capture email addresses. Then, send out a discount code to your subscribers at the start of the sale.
After the sale, don’t neglect the customers that subscribed to your sale’s email list. You now have a chance to nurture your brand’s relationship with those customers and keep them coming back well after the sale ends.
5. Cater your offerings to your target market
What they did: Reports from the day after the Prime Day sale show that although sales were healthy for Amazon on July 15th, customer sentiment surrounding the offerings was not so positive. Forbes reports that Amazon tracked shopper sentiment of the sale on social media, and 50% of overall Prime Day sentiment related to sadness. The other 50% was associated with joy, admiration, or surprise.
What you can do: While you can’t please everyone in your sale promotions, keep your target customer in mind when deciding on your offerings. Ask yourself, “What promotion will entice customers to make a purchase, increase loyalty, and still make sense for my bottom line?” People will talk about sales on social media and in real life if they are thrilled with their savings or if they are irate about the lack of savings. Make sure your sale generates the kind of sentiment that brings shoppers back for more.
Bonus: What you can learn from Walmart
What they did: In response to Amazon’s announcement of Prime Day and the excitement surrounding it, Walmart announced their own rival sale. In their promotions, they indirectly addressed their advantage over Amazon — shoppers don’t have to sign up or pay a $99 subscription fee to receive the discounts.