Retailers continue to line up their own promotions to try and siphon shoppers from Amazon.com Inc. on Prime Day.
Among those retailers running competing promotions:
- Dell Inc., No. 4 in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 500, is running a Black Friday in July promotion, which began on July 6 at 8 a.m. Eastern and runs through Friday.
Toys R Us Inc. (No. 38) is offering 20% of all online orders from 6 p.m. Eastern on Monday through 6 a.m. Eastern on Wednesday. In announcing the sale, Toys R Us stresses that there is “no membership required” to take advantage of its deals.
- Office Depot Inc. (No. 13) is running a 48-hour sale that began on Monday, offering up to 70% off an assortment of products online.
- Sears Holdings Corp. (No. 19) is running a Summer Splash online-only sale on its flagship website on Monday and Tuesday, offering free shipping on all of its designated doorbuster deals. Sears’ regular free shipping threshold is $49. A Sears spokesman says the timing of the Summer Splash deal “has nothing to do with Prime Day.”
- Williams-Sonoma Inc. (No. 23) is offering free shipping on all online orders with no order minimum through 11:59 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday.
- J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (No. 33) says the retailer is now offering a week-long Cyber in July online-only sale, which began Sunday and runs through Sunday. J.C. Penney had previously announced a two-day online-only sale called Penney Palooza for the second year in a row, which runs Monday and Tuesday, coinciding with Prime Day. A J.C. Penney spokeswoman declined to specify why the retailer extended its online-only sale from two days to a full week.
- Footwear retail chain DSW Inc. (No. 146) is using some of Amazon’s own language to describe its three-day sale, telling shoppers on its website “Here’s a Prime Deal. Some places know about books and batteries, some places know shoes. And DSW totally knows shoes.” DSW is offering a buy two, get 30% off deal both online and in stores. The sale began Sunday and runs through Tuesday online and Monday-Tuesday in-store.
- Online travel accessories retailer eBags Inc. (No. 155) takes direct aim at Amazon with a two-day sale, which started at midnight Mountain time on Monday and runs through July 11. In announcing the sale, eBags notes that Prime Day has become the fourth-largest retail “holiday,” which is why it decided to offer its lowest prices of the year to coincide with Amazon Prime Day.
Online marketplace eBay Inc. on Monday launched a TV commercial today that references Prime Day, while also noting that it will honor its Price Match Guarantee on Prime Day. Last month, eBay announced its pledge to offer the best price on qualifying products and if it fails to do so, it will match select competitors’ prices. EBay will only match prices of products sold by a select group of retailers, which include Amazon (No. 1), Best Buy Co. Inc. (No. 10), Wayfair Inc. (No. 16), Jet.com, The Home Depot Inc. (No. 8), Sears and Target Corp. (No. 20).
Data suggests that Prime Day presents an opportunity for other retailers to get attention from Amazon Prime customers. Customer reviews vendor Bazaarvoice Inc. polled 412 Amazon Prime members earlier this month and found that 76% will check out other retailers on Prime Day prior to deciding whether or not to buy on Amazon.
Not every retailer that has run a promotion to coincide with Prime Day is doing so again this year. A spokeswoman for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (No. 3) says the retail chain has nothing specific planned this year. Walmart’s spokeswoman notes the company recently launched free two-day shipping with no membership fee after scrapping its Prime-like ShippingPass membership program in January and that it discounts online orders of certain products that are picked up in stores.
Macy’s Inc. (No. 6), meanwhile, will apparently not be bringing back its Black Friday in July promotion for a second year in a row. Macy’s ran the promotion to coincide with Prime Day 2016, which offered free shipping on all orders placed that day. Macy’s did not return multiple requests for comment.
But not everyone is sold on Prime Day becoming a retail industry trend.
Fewer retailers appear to be offering competing sales, says Marlene Towns, professor of marketing at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. “It seemed like a bigger deal last year,” she says. “I’m feeling a little less hype and I’m thinking other retailers are as well because they don’t seem pressed to compete with the day. It is just a random Tuesday in the middle of summer and [retailers] have not pinned it on anything to give it meaning.”
Peter Cohan, a professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at Babson College in Massachusetts, says despite the fact that Prime Day tends to draw more shoppers online, he would advise against retailers trying to beat Amazon at its own game this week.
“I do not think other competitors should try to compete with Amazon on Prime Day unless they can do so in a way that boosts their sales significantly and perhaps helps them promote some new products or services that will attract and keep new customers,” he says.Favorite