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Deal or No Deal

Posted on June 21, 2021 in News, Trends, And Insights

While patiently waiting for the COVID-19 pandemic to subside, consumers have eagerly anticipated the return of enticing savings events courtesy of the following retailers: Amazon, Target, Walmart, Best Buy, and Kohl’s. To rewind, Amazon Prime Day debuted in 2015 as a 24-hour event to celebrate the company’s 20th anniversary. Fast forward to 2021, and Prime Day has transformed into an annual two-day affair, prompting over 150 million U.S shoppers with Prime memberships to participate. After Prime Day’s debut, the retail giant’s competitors hosted concurrent sales events to contend. Below, we will elaborate on each retailers’ event distinctions.

“Wow Deals event” will be held June 21st – 22nd. It differs from Amazon due to its brick-and-mortar locations, where customers benefit from same-day services coupled with contactless fulfillment. Kohl’s will be offering shoppers the opportunity to earn $10 in Kohl’s Cash for every $50 spent. Unlike Amazon, there is no premium membership needed to capitalize on the “Wow Deals event.” Kohl’s sales event underscores the importance of omnichannel shopping, as seamless integration of communication mediums is crucial for enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty. In the case of Kohl’s, expediting order time is their primary objective, which they execute by designing a user-friendly Kohl’s app.

“Deals for Days,” running from June 20th – 23rd, will consist of savings in the following spaces: electronics, toys, beauty, and fashion. Walmart’s sale offers special in-store shopping savings and online-only deals. Again, no special membership is required to partake in the “Deals for Days” event. Walmart’s strategy revolving around providing both online and in-store deals illustrates the importance of BOPIS. Walmart outpaces its competition in the pickup/delivery service domain where they have designated pickup locations, easy online account creation, contactless order pickup, and their orders are promptly ready when scheduled. Given that 56% of shoppers expect to continue using BOPIS after COVID-19, time will tell how this consumer trend affects Walmart’s “Deals for Days” success.

Prices are expected to drop to an all-time low in each of the following product categories: tech, beauty, home, kitchen, fashion, and smart home. Only Amazon Prime members can take advantage of this event (June 21st – 22nd), and non-members can sign up for a free 30-day trial with full benefits before committing. Regarding implications for other retailers, external vendors should actively sell their products via Amazon on Prime Day to secure their piece of the $3.5 billion pie. Not only can third-party retailers benefit from Prime Day, but a central focus for Amazon is to capitalize on independent merchants by flaunting their selection advantages to consumers.

Best Buy:
You guessed it…”Deal of the Day” (held from June 15th – 22nd) features a new deal every day. Not only does Best Buy promote rotating daily deals and offer more than one sale per day, but they cater to niche demographics such as college students. Best Buy distinguishes itself from its competitors by offering discounts on entire product lines geared toward a specific target audience.

From June 20th – 22nd, Target will highlight savings across the following product lines: electronics, home essentials, beauty items, toys, and food/beverage. Their sale dubbed “Target Deal Days” is designed for everyone­, no membership subscription necessary. Furthermore, Target’s same-day fulfillment services, such as order pick up and drive up and Shipt, will lay the foundation for their competitive advantage as over 90% of Target’s sales are fulfilled from their stores

Amazon has the most significant competitive advantage due to its massive third-party marketplace and tremendous scale. As more traditional retailers expand their omnichannel offerings, they are increasingly able to compete on the same footing as the e-commerce giant. With online purchases decreasing by 1.3% from April to May—likely due to vanishing lockdown rules across the country— people are returning to in-store shopping faster than you can lose your earnings on Deal or No Deal. Perhaps this Prime Day will be a win-win for all of retail.

Charlie Ezgur – National Accounts Summer Intern