Amazon has announced this year’s Prime Day. Get those credit cards ready to put in major work on October 13-14 this year.
Normally, Prime Day is the antidote to the annual midsummer retail lull. Over the years, the popularity of Prime Day has spawned other retailers and eCommerce merchants to launch their own concurrent “big sales” in an effort to partake in one of the biggest retail events of the year outside of the winter holiday season.
This year, the beloved retail event didn’t make it into the back-to-school shopping push, but Prime Day is perfectly timed for the holiday push. (Five bucks say the Black Friday spirit shows up on Tuesday, October 13th and lasts through the holiday season.)
Why This Matters
Retail sales tanked in Q2, and it’s been a long road back, with most stores closed and stay-at-home orders in effect across the country (and the world). So, there’s been a lot of uncertainty around how the down economy and the looming threat of another round of COVID outbreaks would impact this holiday season. But with record-breaking back-to-school spending and the highest expected per-person Halloween spending in recorded history, all signs are pointing to a strong potential holiday season for retailers. That’s good news indeed.
But everything in 2020 has been some version of a Seinfeldian Bizarro World, where the unexpected always happens and “Normal” seems to be off somewhere on its own soul-searching walkabout. So, this year, Prime Day will officially kick off the winter holiday shopping season.
There are some concerns, however:
Shipping costs – The USPS, UPS, and FedEx have already announced there are likely to surcharge this year for holiday shipping.
Shipping delays – By now, you’re probably surprised when a package arrives on time. Well, expect those shipping delays to continue, not it’s not necessarily because of COVID. Yes, the impact of the pandemic is certainly a factor with delayed delivery schedules, but many of us experience delayed or late shipments last holiday season as well. Not great, considering we may be paying more for a service our favorite shipping services can no longer guarantee.
Supply chain issues – We’ve seen with the pandemic that supply chain issues will take their toll on retailers (and on us all). While most of us are probably still stocking up on necessities as a matter of habit, even things like
Quality control – With travel limited and many countries heading back into a second lockdown or limiting travel from the US, quality control is becoming an issue for manufacturers who can no longer visit factories to oversee the production of new product lines. Everything is virtual now, and we may see the impact of that over the holidays.
How This Affects Your Q4 Influencer Campaigns
Confidence is key. Not yours, but your customers’ confidence. Even as shoppers eagerly await Prime Day (and big sales from other retailers), the logistics of getting packages in time for Halloween, in time for Thanksgiving, and in time for Christmas remain an issue, and consumers are well aware.
Personalization + Human Touch. Plus, with in-store shopping looking completely different this holiday season, retailers have to find ways to personalize and add a human touch to eCommerce since shoppers won’t be packing themselves into malls this year to have that holiday shopping experience (the smell of cinnamon rolls, season Hickory Farms kiosks, mall Santas and all the stuff that makes you want to spend more and more money).
Content for every moment. How do you instill confidence in shoppers who want to buy, and are on a search for retailers who can deliver on their promises? The key is tying the positive offline/in-store experiences your customers had with you to their online experience with content. Why content? Because you have to be able to reach customers at different moments and points on their individual paths to purchase. Make sure your influencer selection process incorporates a diverse group of influencers who can authentically and successfully reach different segments of your audience with your messaging.