Ding Dong, Prime Day Is Here
'Twas the night before Prime Day, when all through the lands
Consumers were searching for their favorite brands;
Online purchases were placed by shoppers with care,
In hopes the 2-day delivery soon would be there.
All right, look, I may have been a literature and creative writing major in college, but I am not qualified to parody any more of that classic Christmas poem. I'm sorry. Send your complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sternly written complaint drafted? Excellent. Let's talk Prime, and I don't mean Optimus.
The number of Amazon Prime members is a fairly guarded secret, but according to a CNN Money article from January 2016, nearly half of the households in the U.S. have a membership, with the total estimate being 54 million memberships. That's a whole lotta boxes.
Nevertheless, Prime Day is upon us. I know this because I couldn't look at a single thing online in the past week without coming across this most joyous of newly made up shopping holidays, July 12:
Will the sales be any better than last year? (Fact: While a bunch of people complained about the sales for 2015 Prime Day, sales in the U.S. were up 93 percent.)
What sort of deals should shoppers prepare themselves for? (Get your credit card ready: Prime Day is going to feature more than 100,000 deals worldwide exclusively for members.)
Are other retailers trying to soak up some of the Prime Day juice? (Walmart is offering a five-day period of free shipping, with no minimum purchase and open to all online shoppers.)
The bigger thing here, in my opinion, is to recognize just how HUGE of a disruptor Amazon is.
Sure, Amazon is essentially our e-tailing overlord, and we have accepted it willingly. I won't say "no thanks" to the ability to order 40 pounds of cat litter, as well as a retro-style dress (thankfully not in the same box), and have them delivered to my doorstep in two days, thanks to my wonderful Prime membership. Hello future, I love you.
But the real disruption — and I'm sure the experts, a.k.a my really smart colleagues over at Total Retail, could do a WAY better job digging deeper into the retail nitty gritty — is this: Amazon has the power and ability to create a shopping holiday in the middle of July, and proved it successful in 2015 on the first Prime Day when customers ordered 34.4 million items worldwide, breaking its Black Friday records.
Other retailers who have some serious FOMO are jumping in, trying to get a piece of the holiday Prime Day pie. Will they be successful? We shall see.
But keep this in mind: If Amazon can disrupt the natural order of the retail industry's Black Friday and typical holiday shopping ahead of December by creating its own day of shopping delight in July, what's next?
Or more importantly, who's next?