This year’s Prime Day is fast approaching, alongside the competitive variants like eBay’s not-so-subtle Crash Sale (a bet that “history repeats itself and Amazon crashes”) and Target’s Deal Days. And while these mega-retailers are certainly trying to get wide reach and huge sales lifts during their upcoming summer shopping holidays  — while avoiding any site outages or negative customer experience headlines — there are plenty of ways for other retail brands and ecommerce sites to benefit from Prime Day buzz.

Here are five recommendations for marketers looking to capitalize on the excitement around Prime Day 2019:

Think Back-to-School (because parents sure are)

Many customers, especially in the southeastern U.S., use Prime Day as an opportunity to kickstart their back-to-school shopping. Bazaarvoice data shows students and families begin the hunt for shoes, apparel, and dorm room decor in late July and August. And online searches for these products are often brand agnostic: Google found that nearly nine out of 10 smartphone users are not absolutely certain of the brand they want to buy when they begin looking for information online.

What’s the opportunity for marketers? Take the time to test out back-to-school promotions, messaging, and creative. Consider customizing recommendations to unveil and bundle category staples for the 2019 school season.

Embrace agile optimization strategies

Testing and optimization strategies are not created equal, and certain tactics will generate more ROI during a limited 24- to 48-hour sale. When there’s a short time window and a lot of potential revenue on the line, I recommend customers look to more agile personalization strategies like Monetate’s dynamic testing. Dynamic testing will auto-optimize the customer experience based on the most performant offer. For example, if there are two one-day sales (one for sneakers and one for dresses), artificial intelligence will push more traffic to the best variant in real time, creating the most return for your brand.

Pilot holiday season strategies (but with a “treat yo’self” twist)

Prime Day and its associated higher traffic time is the perfect opportunity to test new tentpoles or branding approaches as we move into the holiday shopping season. But this can also be the time to really boost messages of “self-care” versus gift-giving. Categories such as electronics, home goods, and clothing are regularly purchased as self-gifting.

Make it a cross-functional team effort

To design a truly customer-centric Prime Day experience, make sure your email, paid media, and social teams are completely aligned on the best offers, themes, and products on offer. Consider setting up a “war room” or other cross-functional team to break down silos. In our experience, it’s critical to understand who owns personalization within an organization and how all stakeholders will contribute to the program. This means designing governance that breaks down silos, clearly defines objectives, and lays out measurement tactics.

Think lifetime value, even as you focus on limited-time offers

Prime Day and many of its competitive spinoffs tend to focus on deep discounts and a one-size-fits all approach to customers. Look for ways to bring more personalization and incentive to return for more lifetime value into your Prime Day experiences. Recent Monetate research found there’s nearly exponential benefit to building a depth of personalized page experiences versus focusing only on homepage or one-off optimizations.

Sometimes, the lowest hanging fruit for a better CX can be a focus on rewarding your loyal base. Returning customers already know your brand, and your strategies should ensure they are recognized and celebrated with open arms. Enhanced loyalty points offers and gifts-with-purchases can reinforce that shopping on your brand site is a different experience than going to Amazon. 

And, finally, remember that the right personalization platform will allow nimble testing, customized product recommendations, and optimization against all these areas. Even if the countdown clock’s ticking…

Jess Weisbrot is the North America Manager, Customer Success at Monetate