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Summer slump? Never heard of it.

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Growing brands still have time to strike while the Prime Day iron is hot

Once the glitter of golden suntans and sun-drenched days on the beach wears off, summertime becomes infamous for bugs, high heat and even higher energy prices. But on the minds of retailers is another hot-weather hazard—one not-so-affectionately known as the “summer slump”. As people (see: shoppers) take extended vacations, pump prices soar and people step away from their computers to get outside, retail sales tend to slow dramatically in the summer. This strikes fear in the hearts of brands and merchants, but leaves me wondering … why? 

Amazon Prime Day, typically held every summer (save when there’s a global pandemic happening) is historically one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Last year, the event garnered $11 billion in sales with no signs of slowing. In fact, according to Blackfriday.com: “During Prime Day 2019, U.S. shoppers made 20 million transactions (+18% YoY). That's about 2 million more than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.” So it seems to me, summer is the perfect time for brands to stake their claim and capitalize on all those out-of-office replies. After all, who doesn’t like shopping from the comfort of their beach chair?

Plus this year, for the first time ever, Amazon will hold double Prime Day events—one as usual in mid-July and again in the fall. So even if you missed the Prime Day deadline this summer, there’s still time to optimize your brand online between now and the Autumn edition. 

In crisis, there is opportunity for growing brands. Especially if they’ve got a mission. And inventory. 

You may have read Cart.com CEO Omair Tariq’s take on how businesses can make lemonade in an economic downturn, where he espoused the idea that brands have a great opportunity to grow in these uncertain times. His very first piece of advice? Add new marketplace channels: Walmart, eBay, Target and Amazon are all marketplaces that make up >50% of online sales. “There is a way to sell your product through these marketplaces without hurting your brand,” he says. 

And while Prime Day does present a significant chance to sell more on Amazon, the retail event of the year has spawned copycat events from national retailers like Target, Walmart, Best Buy and Kohl’s, giving brands and merchants the opportunity to cash in on thirsty summer shoppers across the board.

Not to mention, due to lingering COVID-19-related supply chain issues, big-box retailers who often cash in on Amazon Prime Day traffic may be at a disadvantage this time around. On the other hand, agile brands (especially those with intra-continental supply chains) who are looking to make their mark on the Amazon marketplace have a chance to do big things. Shoppers who were hit by supply chain issues last year were left high and dry without back-to-school and Christmas gifts—so rest assured they’ll be ready and waiting to “Buy Now” from brands with available inventory on July 12th and 13th, even if prices aren’t at rock bottom. 

In fact, Shopify President Harley Finkelstein said of last year’s Prime Day: “Commerce in 2021 is not about bargain-basement deals anymore. Shoppers are not looking for the best deals as the primary objective. They’re looking to connect with brands whose values they align with.” 

That means this year, brands with a strong sense of corporate social responsibility like TOMS, Liquid Death, Alo Yoga and TUSHY have the chance to show off what makes them great throughout Prime Day—bringing in new customers and increasing conversions on Amazon and beyond.

That said, just listing products on Amazon isn’t a magical solution to take your growing business from cult fan favorite to a household name. In a sea of millions of other sellers and hundreds of millions of customers, you’ve got to find ways to stand out from the crowd. 

AI to the rescue: Trust me (and the robots) on this one 

OK great, all you have to do is get your products to show up first on Amazon and make them the most attractive option to the onslaught of rabid customers looking for deals. No sweat. You got this. That is, if you’re willing to trust the robots as your partners in … Prime? Please forgive me 😂.

As it turns out, getting your listings to the top of marketplace search results is not as costly or complicated as you may think. So who are these robots and how can they help you grow your brand? Meet multichannel management: software that helps retailers capitalize on shopper behavior data to get their products placed where they’re most likely to convert. How does it work?

Easily upload your entire product catalog and publish compliant listings to multiple markets from one location and map new product catalog listings across multiple sales channels including Amazon, Walmart, eBay and beyond. Once your products are in the mix, the software works behind the scenes to help you rank higher in product searches, position your products in front of the most profitable customers and win the Amazon Buy Box - the most coveted retail real estate on Prime (or any other) Day. 

With your trusty robots behind you, it’s easy to stand out on Amazon and become the brand behind the “Buy Now” button. Plus, your algorithmic army of 1s and 0s will stay busy maximizing individual product margins, syncing prices from one channel to another to find the optimal price point for your products across marketplaces. All that means more customers, more sales and more profits. 

Afraid you may have missed out on Prime Day? It’s not too late.

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