By Rebecca Nagrant, Director of Research
One of the most anticipated cyber savings events of the year was back and bigger than ever-literally. Amazon’s 2023 Prime Day, which was actually two days, ran July 11-12 and was recorded as the “biggest Prime Day event ever,” according to Amazon’s recent press release. This year’s savings event featured millions of deals across the online retailer’s site with Home, Fashion, and Beauty among the top-selling categories. Let’s dive into some of the marketing, promotions, and other factors that contributed to record-breaking sales.
Special Perks for Amazon Cardholders
Amazon credit cardholders had some of the greatest saving potential during Prime Day. The Prime Visa, issued by Chase, promoted 6% back at Amazon.com during the event. Meanwhile, the Prime Store Card, issued by Synchrony, gave cardholders early access to Prime Day deals and offered 10% back on select deals on Amazon.com. Both cards offer 5% back on Amazon.com outside of Prime Day, so the increased cash back was an added incentive to shop.
Other Payment Providers Joined the Hype
Aside from Amazon credit cards, other card issuers also offered Prime Day shopping incentives for their members. Capital One reminded cardholders they could redeem their rewards points to shop Prime Day deals. Meanwhile, Citibank informed cardholders they could use their ThankYou Points towards a Prime membership and other subscription services at Amazon.com, including Amazon Music Unlimited, Prime Video, and Kindle Unlimited. Citibank also encouraged customers to link their Citi card to their Amazon account, shop with points during the sale, and use the option of Citi Flex Pay on purchases of $50 or more on Amazon.com.
A variety of credit unions also promoted the Prime Day event in their marketing. Affinity Federal Credit Union, New Jersey’s largest credit union, used the tagline “a prime day to use your Affinity card,” highlighting 1% cash back on Amazon.com during the Prime event and all year. Navy Federal Credit Union encouraged members to link their cards as the default payment option in their Amazon account. Meanwhile, People First Federal Credit Union gave members a chance to win $1,000 deposited in their savings account by linking their card as default payment on Amazon and shopping Prime Day deals.
Buy now, pay later (BNPL) service providers were also among the companies promoting Amazon Prime Day. Katapult and Zip encouraged consumers to shop for Prime Day deals via their mobile apps. Additionally, Affirm highlighted “0% APR when you pay over-time with Affirm” during Prime Day.
Competition is Heating Up
With the success that Amazon has had with its Prime Day sales, it’s no surprise other retailers are jumping on the bandwagon by hosting their own competing sales events. Two of the largest competitive events were seen from supercenters Walmart and Target. Unlike Prime Day, both Walmart and Target offered week-long savings.
In years past, Walmart hosted Deals for Days, a sale that typically overlapped with the dates of Amazon’s Prime Day. However, 2023 marked the launch of Walmart’s new savings event, Walmart+ Week, a direct competitor of the Prime Day sale. Walmart+ Week officially ran from July 11-13, however, Walmart+ members were given the opportunity to shop a day earlier on July 10. The week-long promotion featured discounts across several categories including apparel, home goods, electronics, small appliances, and more. Notably, Walmart also offered 50% off Walmart+ memberships during the event.
Target Circle Week, which ran the longest of these three competing events, was held July 9- 15. While some deals were exclusive to Target Circle members (the store’s free loyalty program), many savings opportunities were open to all shoppers. The sale featured thousands of deals on Target.com, with items available for free two-day shipping (on orders of $35+). Many sale items were also available for same-day drive-up and order pickup as well, providing several convenient shopping options for customers
Black Friday in July Also Gained Traction
Multiple Black Friday in July promotions occurred around Amazon’s Prime Day event. Macy’s and Best Buy were among the retailers offering these summer Black Friday promotions. Macy’s Black Friday in July Sale began the week before Prime Day and ran July 6-13. The sale was originally marketed as ending on July 12 but was extended an extra day for shoppers. The event featured deals on apparel, beauty products, home goods, and more. During the promotional week, the department store marketed savings through several email marketing communications and digital ads.
Best Buy’s Black Friday in July Sale began the week of Prime Day and ran July 10-12. The retailer offered deals on laptops, TVs, earbuds, and more, allowing customers to get a head-start on back-to-school tech shopping. Best Buy’s email marketing campaign for this event featured a large clock counting down the remaining seconds of the sale, creating a sense of urgency for shoppers. Notably, the company also promoted My Best Buy Memberships during the sale, its new tiered rewards program for shoppers.
An Ever-Evolving Landscape
The world of retail is becoming increasingly competitive as retailers continue to innovate and offer new and improved savings for consumers. Prime Day was once a key differentiator for Amazon, but more and more retailers are going to continue to follow suit and offer special event-type deals to keep customers’ loyalty and spending.