Amazon's Prime Day in July has proved to be a big winner for the online marketplace. In 2017, it was reported that the retailer made more sales than on Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2016, with website traffic up 101% from an average day in June.
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So why aren't more retailers offering special deal days to separate themselves out from other brands and the competition of Black Friday?
According to Camilla Ley Valentin, co-founder of virtual waiting room SaaS Queue-it, while other deal days are popular in other countries, retailers in the U.S. are strategically focused on Black Friday as a key sales event based on the elevated awareness already created among shoppers. Therefore, Ley Valentin recommends that if retailers seek to drive a separate Black Friday-style sale, they must invest in marketing in order to build awareness and drive revenues.
What Ley Valentin finds most interesting is how other retailers have sought to capture Prime Day market share by strategically planning coinciding sales. As an example, she mentioned Sur La Table's Lime Day, created to take advantage of the shopping hype and lure Amazon shoppers to their online sales.
"The key benefits of more of these large, one-day sales is to drive increased traffic to e-commerce sites and increase sales revenues," she said. "Driving increased website traffic can help to build brand awareness among new customers, while the sales offering can reward existing customers and drive brand loyalty."
However, there can be added challenges when implementing more large, one-day sales. With the increase in website traffic that new sales can drive, retail IT teams need to be prepared.
"If a website is overloaded by peak sales traffic customer experience will be impacted and this can lead to the opposite response and even impact revenues if website failure is to occur. So the key to making any new sales day a success is preparation," Ley Valentin said.
In addition, the industry runs the risk of crying "sale" too much and losing consumer excitement and participation. However, Ley Valentin says a balance can be reached with a few select, large-scale sales per year.
But ultimately, Ley Valentin believes Black Friday-style sales will work best for companies with a large e-commerce presence, allowing customers to shop while on the go via mobile or tablet. Mobile shopping is growing and as smartphones become more ubiquitous, this trend will continue.
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"Offering convenience with a customer-oriented website is essential for retail companies to leverage multiple large sales," she added.