Are retailers ready for the Amazon Prime Day halo effect?

Amazon Prime Day 2021 is coming on June 21st-22nd as a 48-hour long sale exclusively for Amazon Prime members. But other retailers have found their own sales boosted by this landmark event in recent years, thanks to the “Prime Day halo effect”.

As a world-leading retailer, Amazon needs no introduction. It is set to overtake Walmart as the biggest retailer in the US in 2022, and Tesco as the UK’s biggest retailer by 2025.

A major part of Amazon’s continued success is its 200 million member-strong Amazon Prime subscription service.

Not only do Prime members enjoy next day delivery and access to entertainment streaming services, but they also get to take part in Amazon’s “bigger than Black Friday” annual summer sale event, Amazon Prime Day.

Frequently asked questions about Amazon Prime Day

When is Amazon Prime Day 2021?

It was confirmed by Amazon that the annual sales event will be taking place even sooner than expected. This year, Amazon Prime Day will be held from June 21st to June 22nd, so there is just less than a week left until the big day.

What time does Amazon Prime Day start?

Prime Day 2021 starts at midnight on June 21st.

How much did Amazon make on Prime Day 2020?

When it debuted in 2015, Prime Day netted the company $900,000; Amazon has consistently grown this number each year since. Amazon smashed its own record again in 2020 by raking in $10.4 billion over the course of the 48-hour event.

How can other retailers benefit from Amazon Prime Day?

Prime Day has become such a major event in the eCommerce calendar that a “halo effect” has emerged around it.

The halo effect is a cognitive bias whereby favorable impressions of one thing will positively influence one’s feelings or opinions about something related. While this is often the case with products or services by the same company (“Amazon makes good smart speakers, so its tablet computers must also be good”), in this case the halo effect is carrying expectations from one influential retail brand to others.

As shoppers are now accustomed to discounted prices because of the promotion of Prime Day, other retailers are experiencing a boost in sales and traffic. More savvy businesses are doing their own promotions alongside Prime Day to maximize the potential for added revenue.

Other businesses now promote “Black Friday in summer” sales to coincide with Amazon Prime Day. Walmart even piggybacked off the success of Prime Day with its own “Atomic Deals” July sale event, proclaiming that “you shouldn’t have to pay $100 to get great deals” in reference to Amazon Prime’s annual subscription fee.

This is a good illustration of one big advantage other retailers have over Amazon on Prime Day. Whilst the perceived “exclusivity” of Prime membership helps drive interest and conversions, it is also a barrier that can be highlighted in the marketing of rival businesses.

What risk does the Prime Day halo effect pose to retailers?

Retailers are often so focused on preparing for Black Friday and Cyber Monday in November that this new “Black Friday in summer” event can catch them off guard.

A sudden influx of traffic, if not prepared for by the web team, can have dire consequences if not carefully managed.

Spikes in web traffic, driven by organic word-of-mouth demand or marketing campaigns, can flood websites with traffic faster than autoscaling can react. This means poor performance or website errors, leading to dropped conversion rates, or even a crashed website resulting in no sales until the issue is fixed.

Prime candidate for a virtual waiting room

One smart way many retailers are protecting their websites against outages during sales events is by using virtual waiting room solutions. Alongside their usual preparations, a virtual waiting room such as TrafficDefender offers complete control over the flow of traffic into any website (or even any part of a website, for example the checkout page).

Even if a sudden spike in traffic is unanticipated by an eCommerce business, an active virtual waiting room solution can ensure no loss of service and total availability of the web store.

Once the website reaches its full capacity of concurrent users, excess visitors are placed into a fair and secure online queue. This prevents website overload whilst generating hype for the sale with careful branding and interactive elements for waiting customers.

Virtual waiting rooms have been a staple of eCommerce sites through Black Friday and Cyber Monday for several years, but as the Amazon Prime Day halo effect grows, more and more retailers are finding value in online queuing solutions during the summer as well.

Get a demo of TrafficDefender’s intelligent virtual waiting room.