Amazon Prime Day to overtake Black Friday, say experts

Amazon Prime Day, which takes place on July 11, is predicted to be bigger than Black Friday and Cyber Monday, experts have warned.

According to e-commerce delivery specialist ParcelHero, Prime Day is likely to top $3.5 billion (£2.7bn) if it continues its growth of $1bn every year.

More than a third (37 per cent) of online spend is done through Amazon, said global e-commerce consultancy Salmon, with this only set to rise, as 73 per cent of consumers said they planned to increase their use of digital shopping channels in the future.

Salmon claimed that Amazon had created a model that was now setting the expectations of consumers for all retailers.

However, other retailers have jumped on the Prime Day bandwagon, such as eBay, which last year promoted bargain prices over several days without the need for shoppers to pay for a membership.

An increased adoption of subscription services in retail has also increased the risk to brands and their direct-to-consumer (D2C) online business models, Salmon added.

This shift in consumer behaviour was evident in the fact that almost two-thirds (60 per cent) said they felt that same-day delivery should be offered by all online retailers, the same as Amazon.

More than half (57 per cent) of UK consumers also said that they believed Amazon was “leading the way in digital retail”.

Innovative products also played a part, with more than four-in-10 (42 per cent) saying they would love to shop with Amazon Echo, and were currently using or planning to use Amazon Dash in the next year.

According to Salmon, this emphasised the need for retailers to invest in new technology to harness demand, as 60 per cent of consumers said they would be likely to spend more if a retailer was more digitally innovative.

Salmon global head of consultancy and innovation Hugh Fletcher said: “Retailers need to consider a balanced strategy on how they compete or collaborate with Amazon. Amazon has seized the day. Put simply, they fulfil their customers’ expectations better than most other retailers in the market. As consumers increasingly look to service, speed and convenience – rather than brand, Amazon sets the standard that others must follow or risk being locked out.

“The whole Prime premise is built around providing a same-day or next-day delivery. Amazon has even created its own market peaks with its Amazon Prime Day. We call this “proactive peak formation”. Its purpose is to encourage Prime membership and keep customers ordering exclusively through Amazon and away from other brands. With companies like Tesco launching their own one-hour delivery service, we’re seeing other retailers looking to halt Amazon’s dominance.

“While many retailers are still struggling with establishing omni-channel strategies, Amazon is taking omni-channel innovations to the next level through its partnerships, delivery options and multiple interfaces, which is what retailers must do if they’re to survive.

“These findings unveil the harsh reality for retailers, who need to wise up to the threat of Amazon and create strong digital services quickly and to a high standard. Amazon is seemingly always 10 steps ahead of other retailers, and its continued expansion into other markets demonstrates its intent to sew up every industry in sight. Retailers must ask themselves, are they happy to give up their interface, their data, their customer, and their future, and become just another brand consigned to history? Or will retailers revolutionise their own offerings to combat the likes of Amazon and secure their futures?”