What Can Mobile Marketers Learn from Amazon Prime Day?

August 2, 2018 | Article written by Carly Morris

Last week, Amazon got everyone talking when it reported that last quarter’s profits crushed expectations, with net income increasing six-fold to reach nearly $3 billion.

As the world’s third most valuable company, Amazon continuously paves the way in eCommerce with innovative products and groundbreaking marketing strategies. Case in point: in 2015, the company invented its own holiday, Prime Day, to encourage consumers to shop sales outside of seasonal Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. (Think Singles’ Day, but only for Amazon.)

This year, Prime Day started on July 16th and lasted a full 36 hours. Deals spanned across all categories, ranging from computers, to gift cards, to TVs and kitchen appliances.

While the results are still filing in for 2018, 2017 Prime Day proved to be an extremely lucrative sales and advertising tool. Here are a just few highlights:

● Tens of millions of customers used the Amazon app on Prime Day, with in-app orders doubling year-over-year
● The Prime Day 2017 promotion grew by more than 60% compared to the same 30 hours in 2016
● More new members signed up for Amazon Prime on July 11, 2017 than on any single day in Amazon history
● Tens of millions of Prime members made a purchase on Prime Day 2017, up more than 50% from 2016

While it’s nearly impossible for the average (and even above average) app developer to replicate Amazon’s massive success, advertisers can still look to the eCommerce giant for inspiration and insights.

So, what can we take away from this year’s Prime Day? Here’s the good, the bad, and the genius:


● Create Your Own Advertising Opportunities:

Companies like Amazon and Nordstrom don’t wait around for Cyber Monday to roll around to promote their sales – they create their own. Be your own hype man and create holidays, deal days, or flash sales to encourage sales and downloads throughout the year.


● Be Prepared for Anything:

If you plan to drive more traffic to your site or app, make sure your platform is ready. This year, Prime members had difficulty logging onto the site and performing basic search functions, and many threatened to cancel their subscriptions out of frustration. It’s predicted this site glitch may have cost the company somewhere in the range of $72 million to $99 million in total.

That said, once the site was up and running, subscribers cooled off and ultimately contributed to an estimated $3.4 billion in total sales.


● Reward Your Best Customers While Acquiring New Ones:

Prime Day is exclusive to Prime members, which creates engagement among current customers and rewards their loyalty. But, it also encourages non-Prime members to sign up — and it works! Last year, Prime Day saw an 85% increase in daily signups within the US alone.


● Engage with Consumers Beyond the Sale:

Prime Day obviously generates high traffic to the Amazon website during the 36-hour sale. However, it also creates engagement in the days before and after on its site and various other Amazon platforms. At this time of the year, shoppers are encouraged to:
○ Visit the site early to create a wish list and keep tabs on sales to watch
○ Sign up for a Prime free trial to take advantage of deals
○ Engage with Alexa-enabled devices to ask for exclusive sales
○ Download the Amazon app to easily shop and save special markdowns

In your own advertising, don’t feel limited to pushing promotions on your site or app alone. You can also engage with users through social media, newsletters, or any other platform you use to communicate with your current and potential audiences.


● Take Advantage of Cross-Promotion:

Amazon recently announced that Prime members can also save money at Whole Foods. To leverage their partnership, Prime members who spent $10 at Whole Foods were rewarded with $10 to spend on Amazon for Prime Day, further strengthening and raising awareness of their relationship and special deals. If you have partners, remember to include them in promotions to increase awareness and engagement.


● Data Still Rules:

As always, it’s important to support your marketing strategies with hard performance data. Did the cost of administering your sale outweigh purchases? Did any glitches hurt your sales?

Site glitch and all, Amazon reported that it surpassed Cyber Monday, Black Friday, and previous Prime Day sales, proving that the holiday continues to benefit the company. Before you “try this at home,” be sure you’re prepared and can survive a site glitch or other unforeseeable error.

Amazon might run in its own arena, but it still demonstrates a number of core advertising strategies that any company can apply to hit it big.

Above all, remember that gimmicks don’t have to be gimmicky. Prime Day has proved that if you create a gimmick that has real value to consumers, it’s bound to have positive results on your bottom line.