Amazon Prime Day and the changing retail industry

By Terry Hunter, UK Managing Director, Astound Commerce.

Amazon Prime Day is yet another example of the online retailer's unquenchable thirst for customers.

This week's event was aimed at swelling Amazon's coffers and increasing the amount of Prime subscribers, using the carrot of unmissable deals to entice customers to sign up and bag a bargain. For current subscribers, it acts as confirmation of their financial commitment to the service, alongside free next day delivery, exclusive video content and a growing music library.

Before the advent of online retail, the sales windows were a big event for shoppers. Bricks and mortar stores used mid-year sales to get rid of stock, acquire customers and encourage them to spend in traditionally quieter trading periods. This trend has now moved online with consumers spending in their droves on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Amazon has recognised this and has created its own branded sales event which is truly international, reaching across the globe.

Now in its fourth year, Amazon Prime Day 2018 extended to Amazon's physical stores, with shoppers able to take advantage of sales in Amazon Books locations and Whole Foods stores. This highlights just how far Amazon's reach has extended within the retail sector – the brand is able to combine online and physical experiences to delight shoppers in a way that is blazing a trail in the marketplace. With Amazon Go, the internet giant launched the world's first checkout-less store, integrating digital into bricks-and-mortar in a way which has transformed the retail industry mind-set around what the future shopping experience should look like.

The evolution of the shopper 'experience' and their changing expectations, is driving change in the retail industry. Events like Amazon Prime Day allow the technology company to harness more customer data, enabling it to drill deeper into consumer trends and behaviours. The more information they have about a consumer, the more personalised an experience they can offer. This makes for a happy shopper, and helps to increase retention.

Amazon continues its domination of the e-commerce space and with increasing pressures on the high street, it is clear that other retail businesses must adapt to survive, sooner rather than later. Critical to success will be truly integrating online and physical shopping experiences to keep consumers engaged, across all retail channels.

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