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Retail Holiday Wars: Way Day Vs. Prime Day

September 22, 2020 Sarah Cavill

Shutterstock_726760150 Top view of woman hand holding credit card and doing shopping online near window at home.

It’s almost time to start thinking about holiday shopping, making lists and checking them twice. And, if ecommerce retailers have anything to do with it, holiday shopping will start sooner than ever, with Wayfair and Amazon kicking off their “retail holidays” in the next several weeks. Although Amazon is undoubtedly the retailer to beat this year, competing retailers like Wayfair can capitalize on shifting consumer behaviors and find success this holiday shopping season. 

Wayfair Kicks Off Way Day 2020 This Week, And It’s Bigger Than Ever

Last year, Way Day was Wayfair’s biggest sales day ever, in terms of revenue, and Way Day helped the home goods brand see a sales increase of 91.2% year over year (YOY) for the week the sale took place. Wayfair recently announced that this year’s Way Day, the brand’s annual retail holiday, will be a two-day event beginning September 23, with sales online and on the Wayfair app. “Now more than ever, comfort at home is top of mind for our customers, and with the launch of Way Day [September 23], we are excited to offer even more exceptional value on the items that help our customers create the homes they love,” said Steve Oblak, Chief Merchandising Officer at Wayfair. Way Day sales all include free shipping, and consumers interested in taking the most advantage of sales can opt into alerts for limited-time offers. The last 12 months have seen increases in home/kitchen and appliance sales, which could bode well for Wayfair, which has seen sales growth during the pandemic. 

With ecommerce likely to be a major player this holiday season, and retail and marketing insiders predicting that shopping for the holidays will start earlier than ever, Way Day could be the launch of this year’s unique holiday retail landscape. 

wayfair way day

Amazon Prime Members Should Expect Big Deals Sometime In October

Amazon is still being cagey about when exactly Prime Day will be this year, but it’s likely to fall in the first two weeks of October. Although Prime Day will be later than past years after being delayed by the pandemic, the expected October Prime Day date positions Amazon to get ahead of Black Friday shopping and take advantage of the early shopping trend many predict for this holiday season. There are 112 million Amazon Prime members in the U.S., and Prime Day brought in around $6 billion for the mega retailer in 2019. Additionally, Amazon has had luck in the past with scaling Prime memberships during holiday shopping when consumers want to take advantage of Prime Day and other holiday promotions. According to reporter Fareeha Ali at DigitalCommerce360, “In one week [during the 2019 holiday season], more than 5 million new customers started [Amazon] Prime free trials or began paid memberships worldwide.” 

Shutterstock_1419761330 MONTREAL, CANADA - JUNE 9, 2019 : Amazon prime day page and logo on android cell phone over Amazon home page. Amazon Prime Day is the retailer's big members-only summer sale in month of July each year

By kicking off holiday sales early with Prime Day, but still more than a month away from Black Friday, Amazon can efficiently promote the two retail holidays separately, maximizing impact and taking advantage of the online shopping preferences of many consumers right now. 

Retail holidays — like Way Day and Prime Day — are an opportunity for ecommerce brands to highlight deals and convenience while creating consumer relationships before the holidays heat up. These consumer connections and the first-party data that results from the connections can make future targeting of digital marketing strategies during the holiday season more turnkey and increase engagement once the holidays are over. In a season that is likely to hold some surprises for retailers, given the unexpected ups and downs associated with the pandemic, a jump start on holiday shopping could prove beneficial for Wayfair, Amazon and every other retailer and brand that takes early action this fall.

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About the Author

Sarah Cavill

With more than 20 years of writing, editing and reporting experience, Sarah Cavill brings to Digital Media Solutions (DMS) a fine-tuned and diverse set of skills. Her work has been featured in notable publications including The Daily Muse, CBS Local, Techlicious and Glamour magazine. Sarah has a passion for current events and the deep-dive research that goes into the content development and brand identity of DMS Insights. In her role as Senior Marketing Communications Writer, Sarah contributes to the pitching, researching and writing of multiple stories published each week surrounding digital and performance marketing innovations in pop culture, news, social media, branding and advertising.

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