Amazon

Amazon Prime Day 2019 – ‘Christmas in July’ for E-Commerce

Today marks the start of the fifth-annual Amazon Prime Day – a 48-hour marathon of discounts on a wide array of products offered exclusively to Amazon Prime members. Since the first installation of the unofficial holiday in 2015, Amazon has extended the event through products launched exclusively at the start of the sale and $10 to spend on Prime Day for any members who spend $10 at Whole Foods within a certain period beforehand.

2018 Amazon Prime Day sales are estimated to have hit $4.19 billion, increasing nearly 74% in comparison to 2017’s sales of $2.41 billion. With this year’s event scheduled to run for a full 48 hours in comparison to 2018’s lasting for 36 hours, sales are expected to continue to trend upward.

Participating in Amazon Prime Day

For brands utilizing the promotional frenzy, having a successful Amazon Prime Day is far more complicated than discounting a product and crossing their fingers. The first (and arguably most important) key to success is accepting and aligning yourself with the focus on Prime-eligible products. Most shoppers prefer and seek these products out, so shipping inventory to ‘FBA’ (fulfilled by Amazon) locations ahead of time is crucial. Preparing supply chains well ahead of time is necessary for many e-tailers to be successful during this important event. Brands are also encouraged to use Amazon’s discount coupons, a self-serve feature that can be set up by any vendor or seller on Amazon.

However, driving sales isn’t the only way to take advantage of Amazon Prime Day. Many brands use this day as an opportunity to increase awareness about what they have to offer and also test how their audience will receive products they are considering launching. Products that have consumers leaving rave reviews and purchasing backups make them all the more likely to remain popular once the sale is over. Consumers will also be more willing to try new products since a discounted price makes buyers more comfortable because there’s less financial risk attached with the possibility of disliking the product.

Competition

As the popularity and overall awareness about this event grows, more and more retailers are stepping up to the plate and offering their own discounts in an attempt to compete. RetailMeNot estimates that in 2019, 250 retailers will take part in the unofficial holiday by offering discounts of their own. This is a significant increase from 2018’s 194 retailers, which can be attributed to the steady incline of consumer engagement and timeline of the event.

Walmart is offering deals for a longer period of time than Amazon Prime Day in an attempt to compete, while Target is echoing the exact dates and placing a heavy emphasis on the fact that there’s no membership required to participate in their biggest summer sale.

It’s clear that whether you are a vendor, Prime member, or regular customer, opportunity is about to pour in from every direction. Gear up and get ready – ‘Christmas in July’ is officially upon us!

Red White and Brew - Kuebix 4th of July

Red, White, and BREW! – A Toast to America on the 4th of July

The Fourth of July is commonly celebrated with cookouts serving American favorites like grilled hamburgers and hotdogs accompanied by heaping portions of potato and pasta salad. While you’re surrounded by neighbors, close friends and family, you may find yourself raising a glass for a toast to freedom and the American dream. Whether your glass is filled with wine or beer, you have a rather complex supply chain to thank for your refreshment!

Each state (sometimes even each municipality or county) has its own regulations for shipping and selling alcoholic beverages. This complex web of rules stems from Prohibition in 1920, which banned alcohol under the 18th Amendment. When this ban was lifted and alcohol became legal again, the 21st Amendment (enacted in 1933) stated that states have the power to create and enforce their own set of laws regarding the production, distribution, and sale of alcohol.

Now, filling a cooler with an assortment of beverages is an American tradition that is widely practiced across all 50 states on Independence Day. It can be easy to overlook the complexity of how your different beers, wines, and assorted beverages made their way to your back yard.

In the United States, the supply chain for alcoholic beverages can be split into three sperate stages:

  • Production

Producers include wineries, breweries, distilleries, and multinational brand owners, basically any entity that manufacturers an alcoholic beverage.

  • Distribution

Wholesale distributors, or companies that are distributing alcohol to be sold for retail purchase, are required to have independent and clearly established operations in each state that they are selling in. They need to be certain they are following all local laws when distributing.

  • Retail

This refers to businesses such as liquor stores, convenience stores, or grocery stores. Establishments that serve alcohol for on-premises consumption, like restaurants and pubs, are also categorized as retailers. This is usually the only node of the supply chain consumers have visibility to.


Production of summer beers as well as beers and wines wrapped in red, white and blue packaging starts long before the summer season. Producers need to have some 18 million barrels of beer already distributed and ready for purchase in July alone. For the 4th of July, Americans spent an estimated $1 Billion+ on beer and $568 Million+ on wine! That’s a lot of raised glasses!

11 brewers are estimated to make over 90% of all U.S. beer, though some 3,400 local and craft breweries also do a good trade over the holiday. American-made beer remains the most popular in the United States, but beer originating in Mexico roughly equals the number of craft beers sold annually. The most popular beers drunk on the 4th of July in America include some familiar brands like Bud Light, Coors Light, Budweiser, and Miller Lite.

When consumers are enjoying patriotic themed or American-made beverages on the 4th of July, producers are preparing to distribute and supply retailers with autumnal drinks like pumpkin ales. July marks the end of the peak season for beer, meaning the busy season for suppliers is coming to an end. Beer sales dwindle to 17 million barrels in August before finally hitting 13.6 million per month by December.

Beyond the complexities associated with shipping any product themed specifically for a particular time of year, consumer preferences prove to be equally as problematic. Overstocking on a product that ends up not being well received by customers ties up capital and beverages can’t sit on a shelf forever. Companies manufacturing and distributing alcoholic beverages need to get their goods shipped quickly to ensure they have the best chance of selling. Equally as dangerous is being understocked and making a popular or newly successful product unavailable.

So when you’re enjoying the festivities on Independence Day this year, remember what went into getting your drinks to you. Happy 4th of July!

How Saint Patrick’s Day Became a Major Holiday for the Supply Chain

Saint Patrick’s Day has been a major holiday for Americans going back to well before America split off from Great Britain. In fact, it might surprise you to know that the first St. Patrick’s Day parade was actually held in Boston in 1737, not in Dublin. On St. Patrick’s Day, much of America celebrates Irish culture by wearing green, cooking an Irish meal, or hitting the town for a pub crawl and some Guinness. This means that supply chains have their work cut out for them to deliver St. Patrick’s Day specific products across the country.

The National Retail Federation has conducted their annual report on how consumers will spend and celebrate during this popular cultural holiday. In 2018, spending for St. Patrick’s Day reached an all-time high at $5.9 billion. The data proves why shippers of all kinds should take special care with their supply chains during this time. A large percentage of the American people will purchase something related to celebrating St. Patty’s Day this year.

Check out the NRF’s interactive infographic below:

 

What was once a religious holiday has become a widely popularized commercial holiday known for beer, crazy hats, and turning everyday items green (like the Chicago River in Illinois.) Industries ranging from the food and beverage industry to manufacturing, retail and logistics will be impacted by this holiday.

Retail and food and beverage companies need to pay extra attention to St. Patrick’s Day. After the mega-holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas, it can be easy to ignore a holiday that wouldn’t seem to have as much impact. However, many retailers will need to stock shelves with season-specific items. This means ordering products early, getting them onto shelves quickly, and moving all product before March 17th.

Food and beverage companies that produce special seasonal items (think green waffles or green beer) should pay attention as well. Not to mention any food and beverage company selling “Irish staples” like cabbage, corned beef, or soda bread. During the weeks leading up to St. Patrick’s Day, shippers dealing with these types of products need to ensure prompt delivery and full visibility to orders to keep their customers satisfied.

Here are some more food and beverage related stats for Saint Patrick’s Day!

•     13 million pints of Guinness will be consumed on March 17

•     Cabbage shipments will increase by 70% during the week of March 17

•     Corned beef is eaten in America on St. Patrick’s Day, but the Irish traditionally eat lamb or bacon

•     Over 60 million of McDonald’s Shamrock Shakes have been sold since 1970, despite the fact that they are only offered a few weeks of the year prior to St. Patty’s day