Amazon "Prime Day" next week could be a boon to all retailers—if they take advantage of it, according to an AlixPartners consumer survey

09 July 2018

63% of the public say they plan on shopping on Prime Day, but 39% say they plan on shopping at other retailers, up from a reported 31% last year

NEW YORK (July 9, 2018) – Shoppers are poised to snap up more online deals than ever during’s fourth annual “Prime Day,” which this year is set to begin on July 16 at 3:00 p.m. EDT and to run for 36 hours—but that timeframe could be a boon for non-Amazon retailers as well if they take the right actions. That’s according to a new survey and report released today of more than 1,000 adult US consumers by AlixPartners, the global consulting firm.

In the poll, a whopping 63% of the public, Prime and non-Prime members alike, say they plan on shopping on on Prime Day this year, compared to 50% who said they made a purchase last year.  However, 39% say they will utilize their dollars to shop for bargains at retailers other than Amazon on Prime Day, up eight percentage points from the 31% who said they made a purchase at a different retailer last year.

“It’s clear that Prime Day has been embraced by consumers and goes way beyond scoring deals on,” said Joel Bines, global co-head of the retail practice at AlixPartners and a managing director at the firm. “All retailers should be leveraging Prime Day to reach customers and earn their share of the shopping dollars.”

Prime Day sales globally were estimated to be more than $2.4 billion in 2017. According to the AlixPartners survey, the event has become almost as ubiquitous in the consumer mindset as “Black Friday” or “Cyber Monday,” with 60% of survey respondents saying they are aware of Prime Day, vs. 88% who say they’re aware of Black Friday (the big shopping day in November one day after U.S. Thanksgiving each year) and 81% aware of Cyber Monday (the Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday).  By comparison, only 7% say they are aware of Alibaba’s “Singles’ Day” (also typically in November).

To be sure, Prime Day is extremely popular with Amazon Prime members, says the survey, with more than three-quarters, 77%, saying they plan to shop on Amazon itself during that time. Moreover, according to the survey, 43% of consumers in general say they anticipate deals not just from Amazon but also from Amazon-owned companies on Prime Day, and 45% say deals from Whole Foods Market Inc., now owned by Amazon, are “likely” or “very likely.”

“While other retailers try to get in on the action, Amazon itself will likely use Prime Day not just to sell products but to further expand its entire brand ecosystem, perhaps including through Whole Foods,” “Clearly, other retailers have their work cut out for them trying to keep up on both the sales and branding fronts.” said Roshan Varma, a director in the retail practice at AlixPartners and co-author of the survey and report.“Look for them to upsell their membership base to additional revenue streams, be it fulfilling the need for instant gratification with Prime Now or even expanding into the weekly grocery trip via Whole Foods. Clearly, other retailers need a strategy that goes beyond deals, and instead offers differentiated, desired and profitable customer experiences.”

What can competitive retailers do?

The AlixPartners report suggests adopting a “Prime Day Competitive Strategy,” which revolves around aggressive marketing (both leading up to and during Prime Day), targeted promotions (including “flash sales” and other excitement-generating offers), and fast and free shipping.

“In our survey, 95% who plan on shopping on Prime Day say they plan on doing online research—which presents a tremendous opportunity for other retailers if they know how to take advantage of it,” said David Bassuk, global co-head of the retail practice at AlixPartners and a managing director at the firm. “For instance, last year 47 of the 100 largest non-Amazon retailers offered limited-time sales or messaging that included the word "Prime."  Even simple marketing steps such as that can make a big difference.  But the Holy Grail is offering consumers a frictionless shopping experience that, while not attempting to compete with Amazon head-on, nonetheless offers the consumer an ‘Amazon-like’ experience but one that’s true to your own unique brand.”

About the Survey

The AlixPartners 2018 Amazon Prime Day Consumer Survey and Outlook was conducted on July 2-3, 2018. It polled 1,124 US consumers, across all regions, demographics and income levels to gain insight into consumer shopping habits related to Amazon Prime Day.

About AlixPartners 

In today’s fast-paced global market, timing is everything. You want to protect, grow or transform your business. To meet these challenges, we offer clients small teams of highly qualified experts with profound sector and operational insight. Our clients include corporate boards and management, law firms, investment banks, investors and others who appreciate the candor, dedication, and transformative expertise of our teams. We will ensure insight drives action at that exact moment that is critical for success. When it really matters℠.