Three Retail Truths to Help Your Business Get Ahead on Amazon Prime Day

This has not been a con­ven­tion­al year for retail­ers, and with Ama­zon Prime Day sched­uled for this week there is a new wrin­kle for brands to con­tend with – an ear­li­er start to the hol­i­day shop­ping season.

For its part, Amazon has had a very strong 2020, par­tic­u­lar­ly in the ear­ly days of the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic when peo­ple turned to ecom­merce plat­forms to stock up on essen­tial goods. By launch­ing Prime Day in mid-Octo­ber, the com­pa­ny hopes to main­tain this moment and get a head start on the end-of-year sales rush.

This has put even more pres­sure on retailers, who have been rush­ing to piv­ot more of their busi­ness online and enhance their dig­i­tal offering, but it has also opened up a win­dow of opportunity. Now is the time to focus on what dif­fer­en­ti­ates them from ecom­merce giants – the abil­i­ty to per­son­alise and con­nect with cus­tomers on a human level.

Here’s how.

1. Peo­ple need human con­tact, so human­ise your brand

The pan­dem­ic has made con­sumers more con­scious about their spend­ing, but it has also made them more con­sci­en­tious about where they spend. More than six months into the pandemic, people want a new experience. They want a break from the inter­minable loop of brows­ing through thou­sands of prod­ucts online, mak­ing a pur­chase, and wait­ing for an anony­mous deliv­ery per­son to leave an over­sized brown pack­age on their doorstep.

Instead, consumers want to engage direct­ly with retail­ers. Even some­thing as sim­ple as a hand-writ­ten ‘thank you’ note packed with their pur­chase can make unbox­ing an item feel like a real-life inter­ac­tion and bring some cer­e­mo­ny to the experience. With the world con­fined to a small life, these thought­ful touch­es stand out and bring peo­ple joy.

2. Dig­i­tal rules today, but shops mat­ter more than ever

Adobe recent­ly analysed UK retail media trends to bet­ter under­stand how brands view ecom­merce and the long-term prospects of phys­i­cal shops, and the results were quite sur­pris­ing. While UK media agree dig­i­tal expe­ri­ences will only grow in importance, COVID-19 has also rekin­dled people’s love for bricks and mor­tar expe­ri­ences.

After a chal­leng­ing spring, con­sumers were free to vis­it the high street again this sum­mer and get a taste of rel­a­tive nor­mal­i­ty. Safe­ty must of course be para­mount for cus­tomers and shop employ­ees alike, but this appre­ci­a­tion for real-life expe­ri­ence marks a turn­ing point for brands who have long been talk­ing about the evo­lu­tion of their bricks and mor­tar locations.

For exam­ple, even brands that now make all their sales online can turn their phys­i­cal shops into dis­tri­b­u­tion points – con­ve­nient hubs for online pur­chas­es where cus­tomers can eas­i­ly col­lect and return prod­ucts in a way that feels more per­son­al than vis­it­ing the post office or a third-par­ty col­lec­tion point.

3. Old loy­al­ties stand strong

Final­ly, the pan­dem­ic has made shop­pers acute­ly aware of the pre­car­i­ous sit­u­a­tion fac­ing retail­ers as we enter the make-or-break hol­i­day shop­ping sea­son. More impor­tant­ly, they are ready and will­ing to sup­port the brands they love.

One only needs to look at the UK’s “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme for proof. When the gov­ern­ment intro­duced its dis­count scheme to encour­age peo­ple (safe­ly) eat­ing out in restau­rants, Brits were hap­py to skip the take­away and opt for din­ing on loca­tion. Yes, the cost-sav­ings were a fac­tor in the scheme’s suc­cess, but it’s also clear con­sumers are eager for an excuse to sup­port busi­ness­es they believe in.

Again, the take­away for retail­ers is to embrace what sets them apart. To steer clear of white labelling and gener­ic expe­ri­ences and instead focus on owned chan­nels that put their brand front and centre.

A time to con­nect

It would be naïve to say Prime Day is old news. As in pre­vi­ous years, Ama­zon will like­ly set a new sales record with this year’s event. But these mega sales are not for every­one, espe­cial­ly not for the mil­lions of con­sumers who crave real con­nec­tions and human­i­ty from brands in these try­ing times.

Retail­ers may not be able to beat ecom­merce giants at their own game, but they can give peo­ple an expe­ri­ence that makes the out­side world feel less distant. These per­son­alised expe­ri­ences will be the key to clos­ing out the year strong and build­ing last­ing cus­tomer relationships.

To learn more about how Adobe has helped brands cre­ate busi­ness growth through commerce, go the Com­merce Cloud_ __cus­tomer suc­cess sto­ries on _