Amazon announced Prime Day with a shout of “more deals than on Black Friday.” Quickly on the heels of Amazon’s announcement, Walmart fired back with roll-back prices on 2,000 products for the same time period. And while Prime Day didn’t wow consumers as Amazon had hoped, one thing is certain: the “Store Wars” have begun, and this begs some big questions for the future of retail:
Will the traditional sales events lose their luster?
We have already seen that Black Friday and Cyber Monday aren’t what they used to be, as the holidays have become one constant sale after another. In an effort to catch more of the wallet share, retailers and brands are starting those promotional deals earlier and earlier — as in the case of Amazon and Walmart.
New, fabricated retail holidays are changing the retail landscape. There is a new crop of “Christmas in July” sales, sales-tax holiday weekends typically in August and then retailers roll right into back-to-school and holiday shopping season. Halloween will be in stores in September. Thanksgiving will appear beginning of October – both “starting” two months before the respective holidays. The reality is, these once-celebrated sales events have indeed lost their luster as consumers have come to expect similar door-busters throughout the year.
Have we trained consumers to look for deals daily?
With technology and smartphones in the palm of their hands, shoppers have an easily-accessible tool to search for sales information and to identify which store is offering the best product value for the price. Plus, the growing prevalence of the in-store technology such as beacons, also reinforces shoppers’ thirst for deals by rewarding customers as they enter the store in real-time.
While the days of direct mail and paper couponing are coming to an end, this new rise of “digital couponing” reaches today’s shoppers with ever more personal and unique offers – and most importantly, through their native devices. Today’s push-coupons have trained consumers to not only look, but to expect, deals upon entry to any store, be it brick and mortar or online.
Does any shopper pay full price anymore?
Shoppers have become smarter. Many sites allow the user to create alerts that will notify them when their coveted item goes on sale. Comparison shopping has become simpler, as well, with different applications available on an array of mobile devices that can help check different prices at different retailers. Luxury items can now be rented or purchased over time. Bulk purchasing is embraced by everyone, regardless of their personal economics. And stores like Marshall’s, which changes merchandise every week, encourages shoppers to return frequently to discover incredible deals and steals.
Quite simply, full price has become an antiquated term when it comes to today’s digital shopper. And retailers that fail to adjust their pricing and promotional models based on this fact will soon become antiquated themselves.
Though Prime Day wasn’t as successful as anticipated, it did prove that traditional shopping “events” are becoming a thing of the past, as in-store or online sales crop up on a seemingly daily basis, and retailers all clamoring for a piece of the sales event pie. Today’s consumers, and digital-first millennial shoppers in particular, have grown accustomed to flashy retail holidays, and they spend their money at stores that can deliver on that concept. Those brands and retailers with ready-built, loyal consumer bases — like Amazon or Walmart — will find success outside of Black Friday by honing in on convenience and savings.
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: Store Wars: Traditional Retail Holidays vs. “Prime Day” Sales Events
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