Amazon's Prime Day is almost here. After moving to October last year, the two-day shopping event is back to its more traditional summer time frame. Regardless of when it's held, Prime Day is one of the most important retail sales events all year--generating more sales than even Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
When you think about it, Prime Day is really a brilliant idea. It makes sense that Amazon and its third-party sellers would want to find a way to drive sales during the summer, otherwise one of the slowest periods of the year. It also makes sense that the online giant's competitors might want to do the same.
Take Target, for example. The trendy retailer has held its own event to coincide with Prime Day, and the same is true this year. In fact, Target is expanding on Amazon's idea by holding its own three-day sales event from June 20th to 22nd.
The company says customers can expect "hundreds of thousands of Target.com discounts (and special, limited-time deals) across every shopping category, from electronics and home to essentials, toys, beauty, and food and beverage." Oh, and Target makes a point of reminding customers that at its shopping event, there's "no membership fee required."
That's brilliant, for so many reasons, not the least of which is that, with just four words, Target manages to turn its competitor's biggest strength into one of its own. Allow me to explain.
Competing against the world's largest online retailer can't be easy. Especially since you're never going to out-Amazon Amazon. And for Amazon, its Prime membership program is a big part of the reason why.
As I've written before, Amazon's Prime membership program is possibly the most brilliant business idea ever. It arguably is the thing that made Amazon one of the most valuable companies in the world, and the default online shopping destination for more than 100 million customers.
With it, you get a slew of benefits, the most obvious being free one- or two-day shipping. That's a pretty big benefit, as long as you don't mind paying the $120 a year for the privilege. Of course, if you shop a lot on Amazon, it's likely well worth it.
But what if you could get the same kinds of exclusive shopping deals without the membership fee? And what if you could get those deals even faster than waiting a day or two for them to show up on your doorstep?
Over the past few years, Target has worked to turn its vast network of stores into its own secret weapon. It's added in-store and curbside pickup, as well as same-day delivery using its Shipt network. That means you can shop Target's deals and pick them up in-store, have them brought out to your car, or have them delivered to your home the same day. Do you know what's faster than free next-day shipping? Same-day delivery.
Plus, Target is the cool place to shop. As much as people enjoy the convenience of shopping on Amazon's website, people enjoy the experience of shopping in Target's stores. That's a very real advantage, and it's one you don't even have to pay for. That's why it's one of the best ideas I've seen yet.