Marketing theory Vs Practice

Thought Leadership
By Martin Smith, Chief Strategy Officer UK
13 Jul, 2016

 With Amazon Prime Day this year, it would be great to see the marketing theory matched in practise by the customer experience.  

2015 Marketing theory: A++

In theory, a sales event to rival Black Friday, in the trading doldrums of July. Even better, Amazon’s birthday falls at the same time.  Better still, in order to participate, customers must be part of, or sign on to Amazon’s highly profitable membership scheme.  In theory, what’s not to like?

 2015 Customer experience C-

In practice, though, many shoppers came away disappointed with last year’s event.  Big ticket and big tech items sold out quickly, leaving bulk buys on things that, frankly, shoppers weren’t all that interested in.  As one disappointed customer tweeted, “Prime Day is like standing in line for hours to see Aerosmith, only to get to your seats and discover it’s a cover band”.

How can Prime Day get an A++ in 2016?

We think that’s about Amazon helping people to buy well, not just buy cheaply on Prime Day.  

For instance:

  • Deals on what Amazon knows people love. Amazon knows more than most retailers about what its customers buy and what they love – in life, as well as in their shopping habits.  Combining these two things in a smart way, with the right deal, will help shoppers feel delighted with their purchases and happier with their Amazon Prime experience as a result.
  • Quality, not quantity.  Amazon sold 398 items a second on Prime Day last year.  Customer comments like the one mentioned above, suggests Amazon would be well-advised to tip the balance away from sheer numbers of starburst deals, and towards solid savings on standout products that customers already value.
  • Prime is for life not just for deals (or Christmas, or mid July for that matter).  Across the Prime offering, people can enjoy a whole raft of products, content, entertainment and more.  Just as Prime Day is an attempt to recruit new shoppers into the Prime franchise, we’d suggest bringing more of the rich breadth of that franchise into the deals on offer.
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