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Prime Day 2017 | Diversification over deals?

By Chris Elliott

The third annual Prime Day is upon us and following two years of #PrimeDayFail trending, Amazon will be hoping for third time lucky!

This year’s event is the longest running to date, launching yesterday at 6 pm and continuing until midnight tonight; expanding to 30 hours coverage instead of the 24 hours in previous years.

While last year’s technical issues may have dominated much of the media attention, the event was deemed a success as global sales soared 60 percent compared to the previous year.

In real-time, we review the promotional activity Amazon are employing to make this the highest grossing day to date – according to analyst predictions.

 

Subscription services

As reviewed in our recent blog, Amazon’s prime objective for Prime Day has been to increase their incredibly profitable Prime membership base. This year Amazon is looking to further their subscription based revenue through the promotion of various other monthly/annual payment driven offerings. These offerings include Kindle and Audible and are more of an upsell to existing members than a driving mechanism to new membership.

This year has also seen a greater push around the new subscription-based services, such as Audible, Music and Kindle; all offering new membership discounts and offers.

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Amazon ‘Spotlight Deals’

Similar to last year’s Prime Day, Amazon featured a row of ‘Spotlight Deals’ at the top of its deals page. This year, at 9 am, there were 72 ‘Spotlight Deals’, a small increase on the 66 observed last year.

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Amazon UK website 11 July 2017 (9:00 am)

 

Amazon led it’s ‘Spotlight Deals’ with promotions on the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot products available for £79.99 and £34.99 respectively; the lowest price these products have ever been available for. Both were also promoted on Black Friday in 2016. However, they were more expensive at £119.99 and £39.99 respectively*.

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Amazon website 25 November 2016 (Black Friday – 9 am)

 

*The Amazon Echo had been available for £99.99, for a limited time only, before it’s launch. However, this deal was only available to Prime members.

 

Television ‘Spotlight Deals’

Amazon has significantly increased the number of ‘Spotlight Deals’ on televisions compared to last year’s Prime Day. At 9 am it had 15 televisions on a ‘Spotlight Deal’ compared to four last year. It also had nine deals on television bundles, which included soundbars and home theatre systems.

Brand View has analysed the pricing of six of Amazon’s television ‘Spotlight Deals’ and compared it to its rivals. Unsurprisingly, Amazon had the lowest price of the retailers analysed for each product and was significantly cheaper on five of the six. Interestingly, Richer Sounds reduced the price of the LG 43UH603V to £399, resulting it in being just £20 more expensive than Amazon.
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Brand View Daily Prices and Promotions (11 July 2017)

 

A significant proportion of Amazon’s television ‘Spotlight Deals’ were on products that were not available from its rivals. These deals included three smaller LG televisions, which are not listed by many rival retailers and three Sony televisions which are Amazon exclusives.

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Amazon UK website 11 July 2017 (11:00 am)

 

Are all deals really ‘deals’?

Not all of Amazon’s deals were as good as they seemed. The Breville VBL 135 blender was on a Prime Day deal for £17.99. However, this product was also priced at £17.99 for eight weeks from 29 November 2016.
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Amazon UK website 11 July 2017 (11:00 am)

 

Amazon’s Rivals

Not to be outdone by Amazon, many other retailers ran promotions to rival Prime Day as they have done in previous years. Currys had the most overt promotion campaign which included a countdown timer on its homepage.

Once a shopper clicked on this banner, it returned a list of Currys’ promoted products. At the top of this list was an LG 65 inch OLED television for sale at £2598.98. The premium nature of this product may have dissuaded some shoppers from continuing to look at the retailer’s deals. It may have been a better strategy to return a more moderately priced product.

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Currys website 11 July 2017 (11:00 am)

 

Conclusion:

2017 has been an incredibly impressive year for the global e-tailer and it’s hardly surprising that Amazon appears to have upped their game again with Prime Day; extended sale period, greater range of deals and large depth-of-cut on core Amazon products.

Analysts predict this year’s Prime Day will be the highest grossing so far and initial reviews would suggest this is a likely outcome.

Typically, Amazon has approached the day intelligently and won’t just be judging success based on sales volume. While a core objective will be increasing their membership base, pushing other subscription services and further recruiting and empowering marketplace sellers will be a key KPI. The weeks proceeding today’s event shed some light on Amazon’s overarching strategy and objectives for the day:

  • 29th June – 3rd July – Increase membership via discounted annual fees; £20 reduction
  • 4th July – 11th July – Promote additional services via Prime page (Audible, Kindle etc.)
  • 12th July – Promotion of deals!

The underlying sentiment here appears to be diversification. It’s a given that Amazon will generate great sales revenue today, but this year’s approach has displayed very diverse promotional activity over all streams of their business. Thus allowing Amazon to harness Prime Day not only to compete with traditional online retailers but also in music, video and grocery markets.

 

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