I don’t know if it made it on your calendar but today is Amazon Prime Day. This celebration of special sales only for members of Amazon Prime will actually last 30 hours; I’m reminded of Crow T. Robot on the old Mystery Science Theater 3000: “30 hours — what is that, a metric day?”
It really is a couple of things, for a couple of different audiences. For Amazon, it’s their biggest sales day. In fact, Internet Retailer estimated shoppers spent about $2.5 billion on Prime Day 2016 and a way of pushing Prime memberships. For Amazon sellers, it’s an opportunity to tap into a big surge in online volume, whether they choose to pay the fee ($500 this year, up from $300 last year) to be allowed into the program or not. And for Prime members, it’s an incentive to do some extra shopping and one more benefit of membership.
It’s not, however, the primary benefit of Prime membership, or the reason that new Prime members renew at a remarkable 91% rate after their first year and an astonishing 96% rate after their second. Nearly 80% of Prime members cite the free two-day shipping as the reason they signed up for the service.
This is one more piece of evidence that fulfillment is no longer an afterthought and has become a critical part of making the sale in the first place. Other research backs this idea up: Dotcom Distribution found that 87% of poll respondents said that delivery time has a major impact on whether or not they will shop with a company again.
There’s an element of “there’s good news and bad news” in this research. On the one hand, Amazon has spent years of effort and billions of dollars building unparalleled e-commerce fulfillment capability. Amazon’s use of data and analytics across the purchasing and fulfillment process sets a very high bar for anyone competing with them and is arguably changing the level of customer expectations for all commerce.
On the other hand, while some of the analytics bit is like rocket science, developing the ability to fulfill with confidence and delight your customers is not – it just takes the right approach and the right supporting technology. You already have the data you need about your customer shipments – and now you can get access to purpose-built fulfillment analytics in the form of easy-to-access, easy-to-use software-as-a-service.
What are your Prime Day experiences, as either a buyer or a seller? What do you expect to see this year? Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.