By Jessica Duncan
Although only eight months (eight long months) have passed since Amazon held their delayed Prime Day in 2020, the time is here yet again. Amazon Prime Day has evolved into a shopping event that rivals Black Friday and creates a flurry of marketing activity in anticipation of the 48 hours of Prime Day deals. As you would expect Amazon accounts for most of the marketing activity, but affiliated retailers, payment providers, and even competitors are looking to seize their opportunity as well.
All Channels of Engagement
Competiscan has observed Amazon using all channels of communication to promote Prime Day, driven largely by in-app displays, emails, and online advertisements. Direct mail campaigns have been used to extend special Prime Day offers to consumers for behaviors like subscribing to Amazon Music or shopping at Whole Foods. A new observation of their marketing strategy for 2021 has been the inclusion of online videos.
More than Retail
While the bulk of marketing promotes retail products, the Prime Day affair has exploded into a larger opportunity for Amazon to gain consumer interest in their supplemental services like Amazon Kids+, Prime Music, and Prime Video. With the addition of the Prime Day Show which includes popular music acts, millions of consumers are tuning in and deepening their service relationships with Amazon. Thus, the event continues to broaden its reach of influence into other industries like Telecom.
Who Will Win at the Point of Sale?
The retail giant is a constant merchant of interest for payment providers. Beyond Prime Day, many card issuers incorporate ongoing card-on-file marketing efforts to become their customer’s primary form of payment with Amazon. Once Amazon announces their Prime Day dates, the race is on even more.
A new tactic has emerged in the past year — the opportunity to cash in existing rewards points towards Amazon purchases directly at checkout. Competiscan has observed Capital One, Citibank, and Discover getting in front of their cardholders with a reminder of this option.
Navy Federal Credit Union may have anticipated Prime Day would return to its typical summer dates and launched a well timed acquisition campaign in which new cardholders would earn a free year of Amazon Prime
With the surge in Buy Now Pay Later financing, Citi released a campaign encouraging cardholders to take advantage of Citi Flex Pay, their interest-free payment plan, for their Prime Day purchases. Citi explained within the email that the larger the cart, the more payment plan options available. Citi also provided a visual step-by-step guide to show cardholders how to select the installment plan as the payment option.
While bonus incentives are still a popular option to spur spending with a merchant like Amazon, the growing trend is the ability to provide consumers with flexible payment options or convenience, like rewards redemption, directly at checkout.
Amazon’s Suite of Payment Products
Let’s not forget about Amazon’s co-branded cards which will get prime real estate and ad placement during the shopping experience. The partnered issuers are also doing their part to generate interest from both existing and potentially new cardholders.
- Synchrony reminded Amazon Prime Store Cardholders that they earn 5% back on Amazon purchases and
promoted a special 10% cash back offer on purchases made with select small business merchants.
- An offer for the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card (issued by Chase) targeting Whole Foods customers
included a $150 Amazon Gift Card and a mention of being “just in time for Prime Day deals.”
- American Express reminded Business Prime cardmembers that they would earn a higher 6% back on
Amazon purchases during Prime Days.
Prime Day isn’t just a battle for payments, but also for Amazon’s competitors. Often, retailers like Target will host their own sales promotions to detract some interest. Notably, Walmart is running a free Walmart+ trial offer. With several days of vital marketing remaining before June 21st, the influence and marketing buzz this giant retailer can create is something worth taking note of regardless of industry.
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