Can Online Marketers Take Advantage of Year-Round Buying Events to Better Prepare for Holiday Shoppers?
While Prime Day started as a day of standout deals for Amazon.com, other brands adopted the concept so widely that it has become a new mid-summer shopping event. However, before we forget, until 2015, Prime Day didn’t even exist, and it’s not a real holiday at all. Prime Day was manufactured by Amazon and adopted by other brands to give them a leg-up in a slow season. The concept of manufactured buying events, whether Prime Day or otherwise, gives marketers new opportunities to acquire customers and learn about them before the end-of-year holidays; in essence, to prep for the big game with more customer data, yielding better personalization and stronger customer relationships.
Traditionally, Black Friday/Cyber Monday and the holiday season has been the subject of focus to ensure that retailers meet their sales goals. However, forcing a shift in buyer behavior with new seasonal events can create a longer cycle between acquisition and the lower sales funnel, and help retailers come into the holiday season with more consumers who are ready to buy. Rather than spanning first visit to conversion in just five weeks, using these other events to prime the pump leads to more successful holiday outcomes.
On one hand, events like Prime Day take some pressure off of marketers to make all of their money in the last month of the year, as well as give brands the opportunity to collect more data before crunch time. On the other hand, it also means that marketers must have systems in place to aggregate and take advantage of the data collected year-round so that they can be ready to employ more personalization and relevancy.
Prime Day Has an Impact on the Bottom Line
But it might not be the impact marketers think. While Amazon and other participating retailers showed strong sales growth on Prime Day, it would be a mistake to think that the impact stops there. Prime Day done right informs a strong holiday strategy by providing new customers to nurture over the next several months, and more customer data to help do so effectively.
Effective Manufactured Events Introduce New Challenges for Marketers
Currently, one in three marketers are using less than 20 percent of the customer data available to them, but are using, on average, seven different sources of data. One of the benefits of a manufactured event like Prime Day is the ability to collect, analyze, and act on data before the holiday season. Without a strong data plan and platform, a lot of this data will go to waste.
Marketers Need to Shift Their Mind-Set Beyond the Single Event
If all that retailers get out of Prime Day, Black Friday/Cyber Monday, and other shopping events is a sales bump, they’ve left a lot behind. Only 12 percent of consumers report that they feel like brands give them a personalized experience, yet many marketers report personalization as a clear goal for their brand experience. Nurturing customers with personalized content through all available channels allows marketers to build new and existing customer relationships over longer periods of time, with benefits that extend far beyond the event-driven sale.
With a data strategy allowing for centralization and access of customer data, and the generation of actionable insights and analytics, marketers can leverage one event into the next, ending the year with a strong holiday season and moving into the new year on top.
Lauren Kreisberg is the director of product management at Zaius, focusing on CDP initiatives such as data science, data ingest and processing, and user resolution/single view of the customer.