“Retailers and brands took advantage of the buzz, the demand, the awareness, that Amazon has created and really rode that wave for great growth,” says Rob Garf, VP of Industry Strategy and Insights for Salesforce. “Retailers didn’t just ignore Prime Day, but they leaned into it. They really recognized this manufactured holiday, recognized the demand that was being created, and really took advantage of the consumers and their willingness to look for a good deal.”
Rob Garf, VP Industry Strategy and Insights for Salesforce, discusses how retailers “leaned into” Amazon Prime Day, taking advantage of the buzz and overall consumer interest, to initiate their own Prime marketing. Rob was interviewed by Owen Milbury, Senior Manager, Analyst Relations for Salesforce:
Retailers Didn’t Just Ignore Prime Day, They Leaned Into It
What we saw is that this manufactured holiday, Hallmark has to be proud, really rose all ships if you well. The tide has risen where we saw 37 percent year over year growth for global retailers other than Amazon. What’s really interesting is that it just didn’t take place over those two days, but rather the entire month of July. We saw July having a ten percent higher growth rate than any typical month. Retailers and brands took advantage of the buzz, the demand, the awareness, that Amazon has created and really rode that wave for great growth.
Retailers didn’t just ignore Prime Day, but they leaned into it. What we found was that emails were at a heavy double-digit increase week over week. The other really interesting thing is our team stepped back and we actually looked at the Internet Retailer 500. We subscribed to all of their email lists and we went to their homepages over the last week. What we found was 51 percent of the IR 500, more than half, did some sort of promotion either on their home page or through email.
They just didn’t ignore it, they leaned into it. We found that 17 percent of the IR 500 mentioned either Prime Day or Black Friday in July as part of those promotions. They really recognized this manufactured holiday, recognized the demand that was being created, and really took advantage of the consumers and their willingness to look for a good deal.
We Saw Two Breakouts, Apparel, and Footwear
Consumer electronics was certainly big. But we also saw two breakouts, apparel, and footwear. That’s really important because Amazon is leaning into their own private label. So these brands need to think how to differentiate. They didn’t just go to market and give deals. They also promoted limited edition products, special assortments, customizable merchandise, and even looking for subscriptions to be able not only to attract but to retain them over time.
The other one was consumer product goods. What was interesting about that was typically what you find in a grocery store they use the retailer as the intermediary, they’re looking generally to leapfrog these retailers. According to Salesforce research, 99 percent have some sort of active direct to consumer (D2C) type of initiative underway. That was no different this Amazon Prime Day. They were taking advantage of the buzz and really looking for ways to engage the consumer directly.
49 Percent of Orders For Non-Amazon Retailers Were On Mobile
When you think about the time of the year, most of Europe was on holiday, most of the US was taking time off as well, they’re not tethered to their computer. They don’t have the luxury of sitting down and searching that way. That showed in our data. In fact, 49 percent of orders for all non-Amazon retailers were done on a mobile device. This just speaks to the fact we’re on the go, the phone is the remote control of our daily lives.
We’re using it to break through the friction that usually exists between inspiration—I like something and I want to buy it—and then actually purchasing. Just for a point of context, that was a 20 percent increase year over year. It’s become a bellwether for shopping not only during the rest of the year but in particular on Prime Day.
Retailers Saw Prime Day As a Test Run For Holidays
Retailers are seeing this as really the test run for the holidays. They’re looking at their mobile strategy. How are they going to breakdown their friction? They want to make sure that they have mobile wallets so that they can really get through the checkout process. They are incorporating artificial intelligence so not forcing the consumer to swipe five times down the phone to find if you like this you might like this. Instead, putting it right above the fold.
They are also looking for fulfillment as well. As you are thinking through towards Cyber Week and the overall holiday season, and with it being five or six days shorter between Thanksgiving and Christmas, how are we going to use the store as a fulfillment center? You really bump up against that shipping deadline and need to also be able to fulfill that for several days after. Retailers are really cutting their teeth. They’re really bearing down. They’re looking at Prime Day as a way to get ready and gear up and go full force to back to school, Halloween, and through the holiday season.