This week two major corporations, Amazon and Walmart, promised customers sales that would rival Black Friday. Obviously an eye-catching notion for plenty of shoppers across the country, who waited eagerly for the sales to begin. Amazon’s Prime Day was in celebration of the company’s 20th birthday and a way to promote their Prime service while also rewarding current Prime members. Walmart answered this much-hyped sale with their own campaign. “We just don’t believe you should pay a fee to get a better price,” Walmart spokesman Ravi Jariwala said in response to Prime Day. Instead, the retail tycoon offered customers a week-long sale with “thousands of rollbacks.”
The competition was sure to be fierce. However, Amazon’s Prime Day came and went and a lot of people were disappointed. Good deals sold out quickly, leaving the average Prime customer with strange deals like a chef’s hat or a giant shoehorn. Consumers took to social media with their frustration, coining the hashtag #PrimeDayFail to express their disappointment.
With the good, the bad and the ugly, we think that there are three major lessons to be learned from both Amazon’s and Walmart’s mid-year sales.
- Make Use of Any Holiday, Anniversary or Tradition that you want. Prime Day and Walmart’s answering sale have proven once again that you really can market anything you want. If you want to put on a “Christmas in July” sale, go ahead. There’s nothing stopping you. If you want to celebrate your 5th year in business or if you are a creamery and want to celebrate “National Ice Cream Day” go right ahead and celebrate it. People love excuses for free or discounted things. Using celebrations in your marketing helps bring awareness, publicity and customers. Having a celebratory sale is always a good idea.
- If you are going to do it, do it right. It is very important that if you are going to do an event or discount that you do it right. Amazon got a lot of flack for Prime Day because they hyped it up and then – according to the only audience that matters, their customers – they failed to deliver. This is where Walmart stepped in and shone. They had a longer sale, with more options, and it was open to everyone. The bottom line is that sales and events should always over-deliver on their promises.
- Include everyone; Give extras to members. This brings us back to where Walmart was the clear star of the race this week. Amazon’s Prime Day was only open to Prime members as a way to promote their Prime service, and they used their 20th birthday as an excuse for the sale. If they had really wanted to simply boost sales, it would have been better to do what Walmart did; include everyone. While Amazon did offer a free 30-day trial to anyone wanting to join Prime, it still was not open to all. They could have had great deals and sales to rival Black Friday for everyone and then done something above and beyond for those with Prime membership. If you do have a rewards club or membership, you of course want to reward them for taking the extra step or paying for the extra features, but that doesn’t mean you should exclude those who can’t or don’t want to. Especially at a birthday celebration. That’s like throwing a party and then only inviting the people who will bring the best gifts. More customers equals a larger profit.
From every event, good or bad, there are lessons to be learned. Don’t let a good marketing idea turn into your faux pas. Let us help with your next marketing and event planning and make the most of your time and money.Share