Retailers' main weapon to counter Amazon Prime Day will be email, says Adobe

Adobe is predicting that retailers will be able to convert more Amazon Prime Day traffic with better strategies and a heavy dose of email promotion.

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Retailers have honed their tactics to compete with Amazon's Prime Day and grab sales, according to estimates from Adobe Digital Insights.

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from Adobe Digital Insights (ADI) is that email is a primary vehicle to engage shoppers breaking open wallets for Amazon's Prime Day July 15 and July 16.

According to ADI, there are more than 250 retailers aiming to grab some of Amazon's Prime Day traffic. ADI's data is based on anonymous data in aggregate from Adobe's Experience, Analytics and Advertising clouds.

Amazon estimated to have 63 million Prime subscribers going into Prime Day

The data is based on 1 trillion visits to US retail sites, pricing information on more than 55 million unique products and transactions at 80 of the top 100 retailers.

ADI is predicting a halo effect that will lift top retailer revenue up 79%, up from 60% from a year ago. The key point here is top retailers. Retailers that haven't honed their engagement and email strategies and lag the market won't get a Prime Day boost.

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Adobe's prediction on the Prime Day halo effect is more optimistic than what Salesforce projected.

Meanwhile, Prime Day will be the third day ever outside of the holiday season to top $2 billion in e-commerce spending. Labor Day 2018 and Memorial Day 2019 were the others.

Taylor Schreiner, lead analyst at ADI, said:

We attribute this growth in sales to the fact that the big e-commerce competitors have become better at reaping the benefits of this artificial holiday. After all, they've now had almost five years of practice in converting Prime Day traffic.

Among other key themes from ADI's data and estimates:

  • Buy-online-pickup-in-store will be more of an option for consumers. Usage surged 65% in the 2018 holiday shopping season, according to ADI.
  • Email campaigns were responsible for an 8.85 increase in order share on Prime Day 2018. That trend is likely to continue in 2019. Video ads will also be a key driver of Prime Day traffic to non-Amazon retailers.
  • The biggest discounts will be in electronics and items in the $50 to $100 range.
  • Impulse purchases will lead to an increase in returns for Prime Day items.