What Amazon Taught Us About the Holiday Season

Cyber Monday was Amazon’s biggest shopping day in company history.

As Amazon, Walmart, and Target accounted for a huge chunk of holiday sales this year, their competitors should not take a break following the end of the 2019 holiday season.

Although we’re only in the first full week of January, the time to start thinking about the 2020 holiday season is now. Here’s why.


How Prime Helped Amazon Set a Holiday Season Record

Amazon Prime served as a phenomenal acquisition, retention, and engagement tool since it launched in 2005.

And this past holiday season Prime soared to new heights.

According to an Amazon press release, more people tried Prime this holiday season than any previous year.

Consider that during a one-week period more than 5 million new customers started Prime free trials or began paid memberships worldwide.

During the 2019 holiday season the number of items delivered with Prime Free One-Day and Prime Free Same-Day Delivery nearly quadrupled compared to the same time period last holiday season.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos called this past holiday season “better than ever.”

The Prime program eclipsed 100 million global members in April 2018.

How can retailers compete with that during the 2020 holiday season?


How to Compete with Amazon in 2020 and Why That Starts Now

When competitors view Prime, they need to consider the power of premium loyalty throughout the year.

Due to Amazon’s impressive holiday 2019 performance, and the way Prime packs a year-round fiscal punch, retailers can compete by building their respective customer loyalty bases now.

Communicating with loyalty program members on a consistent basis through relevant messaging goes a long way toward building sustainable two-way relationships.

Consider that 73% of consumers typically shop retailers who have reached out to them throughout the year.

The importance of brands offering compelling loyalty programs cannot be overstated.

In fact, 55% of shoppers will be influenced on where to shop based on whether a store has a loyalty program.

A premium loyalty program like Prime gets a retailer’s best customers to engage more often and spend more when they do.

Prime members spend more than twice as much as non-Prime members.

Brands need to understand their best customers’ needs and desires and tailor a highly engaging loyalty program to them.

While traditional, free loyalty programs focus on signups, they fail to elevate member engagement or brand advocacy.


The Power of Premium Loyalty

Premium loyalty programs make your best customers exponentially more valuable by offering a plethora of attractive benefits. They engage more, shop more, and spend more.

They become brand advocates and spread the positive message of your program.

Premium loyalty programs, by nature, offer an immediate competitive differentiation.

Instead of requiring members to spend money over time to receive benefits somewhere down the road, a premium loyalty program allows members to pay an annual fee for benefits they can use right away.

Premium loyalty creates an “instant culture” whereby members can engage with the program 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

These programs are so valuable that people are willing to pay for them. Also, members are so engaged with them that they become part of their daily lives.

So how can these program play into 2020 holiday success?


If Amazon Taught Us One Thing This Holiday Season, It’s This

If you had a less than stellar performance in the 2019 holiday season (or even if you did great), the time to think about loyalty is now. You need to get the jump on the 2020 holiday season.

Nearly 70% of consumers agree their loyalty is more difficult for a retailer to maintain than ever before, while 88% agree retailers could do more to earn their long-term loyalty.

But 87% of consumers who are satisfied with the special benefits offered by a retailer’s premium loyalty program will likely choose that retailer over a competitor that is offering a lower price.

Bezos once described Prime as a physical-digital hybrid program “unlike anything else.”

That’s certainly how it’s turned out.

Now it’s time to start thinking about a premium loyalty program for your brand that makes your customers feel that way.

What are you doing now to create a unique and valuable experience for your customers so that they’ll come to you first when the 2020 holiday season comes around?

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