Opportunity, thy name is Prime Day.
That’s how some in the e-commerce industry see Amazon’s annual summer shopping event, which this year began last night and lasts 30 hours.
Since it began in 2015, Prime Day has driven record sales for Amazon. One estimate last year said Amazon owned 74 percent of all US e-commerce on Prime Day. But that other 26 percent is still a big slice of retail pie, and many other e-commerce players are trying to piggyback on what you could call the “Prime Day effect” — an increase in e-commerce activity that extends beyond Amazon itself.
Many of Amazon’s top e-commerce competitors (a list we recently reported from Slice Intelligence’s 2017 Q1 online sales market share data) are running their own special sales this week to coincide with Prime Day. And many big e-retailers not in Slice’s top 10 are following suit. Here’s a look at what some of Amazon’s biggest competitors are doing — or not doing — in response to Prime Day.
Best Buy’s home page is advertising a one-day sale they’re calling “Big Deals Day,” with a tagline that says “Huge savings for everyone.”
It’s a bit more tame than last year’s messaging, when Best Buy ran a “Hottest Deals” banner on its home page that said “no membership required” — a direct reference to Amazon Prime’s $10.99 per month or $99 per year fee.
Nordstrom is a holdout. As of about 10:00 a.m. PT, it has no special offers on its home page that seem like they could be attributed to Prime Day. Instead, it’s advertising the company’s annual anniversary sale that starts on Thursday. The closest thing to a Prime Day reference could be the tiny text at the top of the home page that says “Free shipping. Free returns. All the time.”
Walmart is running a carousel of offers across its home page that begins with “Huge Summer Savings” and scrolls through other deals, including up to $30 discounts on Google Home and other Google devices.
Farther down the home page, Walmart is promoting its two-day shipping service, an Amazon Prime competitor.
You didn’t really think Apple would bother running any special ads to counter or piggyback on Prime Day, did you? They’re not, and no one should be surprised.
Target’s home page advertises sales on baby and bed/bath products, but to me these look more like a typical Target.com promotion than a special response to Prime Day.
Macy’s is running one of the most obvious attempts at piggybacking on Prime Day. Its home page is dominated by a banner that promotes “Black Friday in July Specials” with discounts of up to 25 percent for the next week.
There’s also a timer counting down until the today-only free shipping offer ends at midnight ET.
The Home Depot home page advertises discounts on large appliances and “new online-only offers each day,” but these don’t feel like direct responses to Prime Day. Home Depot’s home page looked the same yesterday.
The Amazon-owned shoe seller is running sales and promotions on its home page, but like Home Depot and a few others mentioned in this article, none of the sales have the look and feel of being related to Prime Day.
Costco is advertising several two-day sales that coincide exactly with Prime Day — i.e., Monday and Tuesday. It’s offering special discounts on ever-popular e-commerce items like TVs, iPads, audio equipment and the like.
eBay is running one of the more aggressive counterpunches we’ve seen so far. The home page carousel begins with a headline that says, “Their Prime Deal Is Our Everyday Deal.” The text below continues that theme: “Price matching. Free Shipping. No membership, just smiles.”
Sears is basically running its own version of Prime Day — a “Summer Splash” sale that started yesterday and ends today with free shipping and no minimum purchase on “hundreds of doorbusters.”
For the third straight year (the same amount of time Prime Day has been a thing), Newegg is running its Fantastech sale. This year, Newegg is extending its sales through Thursday — a full three days.
J.C.Penney is running a “Cyber In July” sale that promises “1000s of extreme deals today!” The sale actually runs through Wednesday and offers discounts up to 30 percent, plus free shipping on orders over $49.
Toys ‘R’ Us
The toy seller is aggressively promoting its “biggest sitewide sale of the year,” which began last night at the same time as Prime Day, but runs for 36 hours through 6:00 a.m. ET Wednesday (compared to 30 hours for Prime Day). Toys “R” Us is offering a 20 percent discount across its website.
When I checked Kohls.com yesterday, there were no obvious Prime Day-related sales. That’s changed today. The Kohls.com home page is advertising a one-day “online exclusive” sale with 30 percent discounts on things like summer clothes, swimwear, outdoor toys and more.
The Google Store is running a special sale on Google Home — $30 off, lowering the price to just $99.
That same price is available for Google Home purchases made on Target.com, Walmart.com and other retailers that carry the device — all part of the Amazon/Google smart speaker price war that’s playing out this Prime Day.
Amazon is likely to announce several non-specific data points tomorrow or later this week that will recount the Prime Day activity it saw on its websites and mobile app. We’re also expecting some of the e-commerce analysts to weigh in with data on how much of a lift Prime Day provided across the industry.