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Retailers want Amazon’s Prime Day on Tuesday to begin early in the holiday season

Amazon Prime Package.

Andrew Haller | Bloomberg | Contributors

Late Amazon Prime Day means an early start to this week’s holiday shopping season.

According to retail research firm The NPD Group, the annual shopping event itself is a holiday, and one of last year’s prime days, July 15, lags behind Cyber ​​Monday and Black Friday in last year’s online shopping. I will. This year will be two days from 3am on Tuesday to Wednesday.

Retailers are preparing for the early start of holiday shopping by choosing products to advertise, using technical tools to manage their supply chains, and preparing their employees. By hanging deals, they want to excite early vacation shoppers and extend the season, which is very important for their bottom line.

Analysts predict that e-commerce events will be the largest in Amazon’s history as more Americans expand their search for holiday gifts and do more online than before because of the pandemic. I am. Amazon’s revenue from Prime Day is expected to jump to about $ 7.5 billion, up 42% from last year’s estimated $ 5.3 billion, according to JPMorgan analysts. This was Amazon’s largest global shopping event.

Lobby Ohms, a discount retail analyst at Bank of America Securities, said retailers big and small “want to participate in that energy.” The target is “Deal Days” and Best Buy will start selling Black Friday on the same day. Wal-Mart will be hosting a “Big Save Event” from Sunday to Thursday at 7pm.

“”[Amazon] Prime Day helps everyone who sells online. “It takes everyone to the table and does something special for everyone to try to join it,” he said.

Appropriate

This year, retailers needed to predict what consumers could buy as gifts and for themselves during economic and public health crises.

Ashwanimonga, a marketing professor at Rutgers University Newark, who studies consumer psychology, said the typical rule of thumb of giving gifts: buying items that people don’t buy on their own is upset. Said it might be.

He said he hopes shoppers will be attracted to more practical gifts than usual. Think of winter coats, snowshoes, and hiking gear that allow friends and family to get together outdoors in cold weather. They are also looking for kitchen utensils that family and friends can avoid restaurants and improve their cooking. This year, the Firepit could be on the gift list, turning the backyard into a cozy destination, allowing neighbors to get together and stay socially distant.

Meanwhile, retailers may use promotions to push items that appeal to their desire to return to normal life, such as dresses and watches that customers have largely ignored during a pandemic, he said. I did.

The retailer’s initial trading list ranges from toys to household tools. For example, Walmart’s list includes a Super Mario Party video game for Nintendo Switch for $ 39.99, a Pioneer Woman 6-quart instant pot for $ 49, a Tsumion Robot Vacuum Cleaner for $ 99, and a hunter’s women’s rain boots for 69.99. Includes dollars.

You can also use some of Best Buy’s discounted products, such as laptops starting at $ 119.99, as equipment in your home office or remote classroom.

Utilization of data

Jill Standish, head of Accenture retail, said the use of technology by retailers has become increasingly important during the holiday season. She said almost every retailer looks to new sources of advanced analytics, machine learning, and customer data to keep things running smoothly during busy times.

They also need to know where to put their inventory, so consumers can choose to buy toys at the store, deliver them to the front door, or pick them up at the curb.

“If you’re a retailer now, we’re a little foggy,” she said. “All you need to do when flying in the fog is instrumentation.”

Retailers can use these sophisticated tools to guide techniques from grouping similar items in a warehouse to reducing split shipments.

Dan McKone, managing director of consulting firm LEK, said retailers could sell significantly discounted products at higher rates and stock inventory accordingly. They can use technology to go one step further and identify the correlation between what customers normally put in a virtual basket when purchasing a particular item for sale. You can run forecast scenarios to minimize out-of-stock items. You can also find clues to search data that indicate where shoppers are clicking.

Retailers could have predicted that e-commerce sales would gradually increase each holiday season as online sales increased. This year, the pandemic makes it a more knowledgeable guess, he said.

Staffing

Large retailers and Amazon have sought to respond to the surge in packaging and shipping during a pandemic. They are preparing to enhance their online shopping from this week’s Prime Day. This means hiring thousands and different expectations for employees.

Amazon prepared for an earlier and longer “peak season” by fully staffing its warehouses and demanding overtime from its employees. The company employs 175,000 warehouses and delivery personnel during the pandemic, maintaining more than 70% of them. More than 150 last mile delivery stations will open between March and October, which could help speed up luggage to the doors of shoppers during the holiday season.

Wal-Mart is making an important vacation employment initiative for the first time in five years, despite the pandemic epidemic. We are adding 20,000 seasonal employees working at the fulfillment center. Since March, the company has already employed more than 500,000 employees across the United States.

Target also expects to hire about 130,000 seasonal workers during the holiday season, giving employees extra time, about the same number as last year’s holiday season. However, many of them have job descriptions related to online shopping. Compared to the first half of this year, twice as many target employees will focus on curbside and in-store pickup on the day of online purchases. More employees work in the distribution center to make sure the goods are in stock in the store and ready to ship. In addition, store employees receive cross-training so they can make online purchases of their customers’ cars or pack boxes and send them to the front door.

Target CEO Brian Cornell said the main theme of the pandemic extends to vacations. It’s flexibility. He said retailers and their workforce remain agile as the outlook remains uncertain.

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