MarketingOperations

Why #AmazonFail Could Be a #WalmartWin

Whether you think Amazon is the worst thing to happen to the retail industry or you believe your $100 membership fee is the best investment you’ve ever made, it’s no debate that Amazon is a powerhouse retailer. A company that has made it’s billions from knowing the science of online purchase behavior and pioneering services that appeal to the shopper addicted to instant gratification. But judging by the hashtags poking fun at the eGiant, has the latest promotional gimmick been a win or a #fail for them?

When is it Time to Get Aggressive?

To celebrate it’s 20th anniversary, Amazon announced some deep discounts for Prime Members available only on July 15th which has been dubbed Amazon Prime Day. Promoting the day as a series of flash sales which would focus on discounts across the board including TVs, tablets and household items it’s been a much anticipated day of debauchery for the online shopper. A day that competitor Walmart has combatted with ads stating their ‘discounts don’t require a membership.’ To the average bystander, these two companies seem like unlikely opponents – each catering to seemingly different clientele. Or, are they? This offensive advertising strategy signifies Walmart’s intent to grow it’s online marketshare.

When considering an offensive, or aggressive strategy, the SPACE matrix is often used to evaluate the strategy that most suits your company’s position. In this scenario, Walmart is in a strong position all around, financially viable and the online commerce sector is extremely attractive with the continued increase of eCommerce and mCommerce. A company as sophisticated as Walmart in it’s operations would also see few barriers in competing in this space as technology integration makes it easy to play in Amazon’s home turf – the digital.

Some Like it Hot

A company with the greatest foothold in the eCommerce world would see their position differently, but have a similarly aggressive tactic. Amazon possesses the same strengths but has traditionally different demographic as patrons. The shareholders at Amazon were reportedly weary of the Amazon Prime Concept, worried that it would focus their existing clients too much on price instead of attracting new clients to the service. The fear of shifting money around instead of making more. Sounds familiar? That dreaded color sale that gets your regular grey coverage client in at a discount. We have all seen those in our careers and wondered what the marketing manager was thinking in that blanket email blast.

A common tactic when using an aggressive strategy in business is to be a constant innovator, which has worked for Amazon in the past with the 2 day free shipping policies and even the crazy delivery drone antics. Each of these tactics cementing their positions as eCommerce gods into the consumers mindset.

However, the negative social commentary about Amazon’s latest promotional campaign gone disaster has given a nice platform for Walmart’s frontal attack. Walmart’s long standing position as a discount retailer seemed to play right into the hiccup in Amazon’s attempt at deep discounting proving an aggressive offensive strategy pays off even in the face of a mammoth competitor.

Have you used offensive advertising strategies when entering new markets?

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Valorie

Valorie

A marketing professional who has focused primarily on the hair and beauty business for of the past decade, Valorie is the Executive Director for ISBN and also runs linkup marketing, a digital marketing agency for the hair and beauty professional. Valorie works to engage clients in the marketing process and help them successfully engage with their clients and community. Energetic and passionate about the industry, Valorie focuses on blending traditional and digital media in order to bring salons closer to their clients.

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