Amazon gears up for Prime Day in SG, says owned and paid channels key in marketing mix

Singles' Day and double-digit shopping festivals might be a hit with consumers in Asia, but Amazon Prime Day is fast becoming an established shopping event in Singapore, Criteo said. More than a third of consumers in Singapore are keen to shop and are familiar with Amazon Prime Day. This comes more than a year into the pandemic and according to Criteo, it indicates little sign of festival fatigue among consumers.

Amidst the pandemic, the eCommerce giant has continued to throw its weight behind small businesses. This year, Amazon committed to supporting them by spending more than US$100 million on new promotional activities to help them increase their sales and reach more customers globally. While its spokesperson declined to share what percentage of the US$100 million has been allocated to small businesses in Singapore, the company said more than 12,000 small businesses came on board for last year's Prime Day.

This year, Amazon plans to carry on the momentum it has witnessed in Singapore on 21 and 22 June. The spokesperson told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that it expects twice the number of local businesses joining Prime Day this year and has also launched a curated storefront to make it easier for their customers to support them. Although Amazon's spokesperson declined to reveal the marketing budget set aside for Prime Day in Singapore this year, the company said both owned channels and paid media are an important part of its strategy in the lead up to and on the day of Prime Day promotions. This approach is guided by the media consumption habits of Singaporeans. Citing a 2020 research study by the Institute of Policy Studies in Singapore, the spokesperson said Singaporeans frequently turn to mainstream media to get their news and Amazon wants to make it easier for them to find useful information on the best discounts.

According to a recent survey it did in partnership with YouGov, more than half of the 1,207 respondents across different generations said they will choose to support local sellers over buying the same product from an international seller if there is no difference in price. The survey found that 48% of Gen X shoppers bought from local brands in the past one week or more recently, followed by Millennials (44%) and Gen Z (34%). Meanwhile, 63% of Gen Z shoppers said that for the same product, they would rather buy from a seller that gives back to the local community versus one that does not. This is compared to 55% of both Millennial and Gen X shoppers.

To target various audience segments locally, Amazon is working with Yahoo Singapore, Mothership, The Smart Local, Geek Culture, and Sassy Mama. "Mothership and The Smart Local are popular mainstream titles that Singaporeans known and love. Their deep understanding of the Singaporean audience helps us to share information and tips around Prime Day in a way that best relates to what Singaporeans care about," the spokesperson explained.

Last year, it tied up with Mothership for a quiz that allowed consumers to determine their shopper persona - Lobang Hunter, Informed Buyer, Kiasu Shopaholic or Practical Shopper. The online site remains a key media partner for Amazon this year to share the findings from its study with YouGov in an easy-to-understand and light-hearted manner on its website, Instagram, Facebook, and Telegram.

Meanwhile, Geek Culture and Sassy Mama are niche titles, read by a community of loyal geeks and parents. The spokesperson explained that their expertise in topics relating to video games, electronics, toys, books, babies, and home and kitchen products helps Amazon offer valuable information directly to relevant consumers.

Like many companies, influencers are an integral part of its marketing approach. As such, Amazon is working with a group of influencers on Instagram, TikTok and Twitch to reach its target audience in Singapore. On TikTok, for example, the eCommerce company is working on an unboxing challenge where users can make a video with its Prime Day filter effect and showcase their creative expression when they open an Amazon box. A check by MARKETING-INTERACTIVE found that the TikTok influencers include Ian Jeevan, Douglas Ong, and Trevor Tham.

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"This is to bring to life our creative concept of allowing customers to express and share the satisfaction of ordering on Amazon and getting their free next day delivery as a Prime member," the spokesperson said.

Separately, its partnership with Twitch offers Amazon onsite campaign exposure and two live streams from key influencers during Prime Day to help customers navigate the event and share their experience finding great deals. While the spokesperson did not specify who the influencers are, she said one will focus on health and personal care while the other on gaming and electronics.

Aside from its usual Prime Day promotions such as coupons and lightning deals, Amazon also went all out with a Prime Day Show on 17 June. Presented by Amazon Music, the Prime Day Show featured Billie Eilish, H.E.R., and Kid Cudi and transported fans to worlds inspired by Paris, The Dunbar Hotel, and outer space. The Prime Day Show was also an effort by the eCommerce giant to push its Prime Video offering as the three-part musical event premiered globally on the platform. With the Prime Day Show, Amazon joins eCommerce players such as Lazada to have its own concert or musical event as part of its marketing initiatives.

Standing out from fierce eCommerce competition in Singapore

Without a doubt, Amazon has had to contend with fierce competition in Singapore such as Lazada and Shopee. However, it remains unfazed. According to the spokesperson, there is a big focus on education in Singapore, with parents cross-shopping between books, toys, stationery, and technology for their children. STEM education has been a key focus at Amazon and a strong part of its community efforts. Hence, it is constantly looking for ways to empower children and young adults to develop their interests and build their skills in science and technology. Beyond selling several STEM-related books, and toys on Amazon, it also launched the complimentary Amazon Cyber Robotics Challenge for primary and secondary school students in Singapore to learning and practice coding.

It is also supporting local non-profit organisations this Prime Day through the Amazon X Retail for Good Wishlist programme. A joint effort with the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre (NVPC), the programme lets shoppers purchase items listed on participating non-profit organisations' wish lists, while Amazon offers a nominal donation to each organisation on board to kickstart the programme. The organisations include Singapore Children's Society, Blessings in a Bag, Children's Wishing Well, Club Rainbow, The Food Bank Singapore, Singapore Red Cross, SOSD, New Hope Community Services, Arc Children's Centre, SHINE Children and Youth Services, The Singapore Association for the Deaf, and Willing Hearts. This initiative is in line with the values of majority of Amazon's consumers who said in the YouGov survey that they will support organisations that have a charitable component.

Also, Amazon is supporting local retailers via the Market Readiness Assistance, which includes support for up to 70% of eligible costs for overseas promotion, overseas business development and overseas country set-up. Support is capped at SG$100,000 per new country and this initiative was launched in collaboration with Enterprise Singapore.

Photo courtesy: 123RF

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