Big Deal Days victory strategies from Kohl’s and Target

Lessons learned from Big Deal Days winners and how to leverage that to drive success during Cyber Week and beyond
John Fetto
5 min read
13 October 2023


The dust has settled around Amazon’s Big Deal Days, the second Prime Day event of the year, and Grips has some insights to share about the event’s winners Kohl’s and Target to help inform your upcoming Cyber Week campaigns. 

With fresh transactional reporting delivered every morning for thousands of e-commerce retailers and DTC sites, Grips clients received critical competitive intel during the Prime Big Deal Days event including the period before and after allowing them to see in real-time how their competitors were performing. We dug through the same data ourselves and found that Kohl’s and Target were two of the biggest winners of the sales event and we’ll explore their success below. 

increased in transactions Kohl's Target, Best Buy, Walmart, Amazon, Macy's and Wayfair
Kohl's and Target had the biggest overall lift in transactions during Big Deal Days and the period leading up to it

Kohl’s dashed to the top

Amazon may own the rights to the “Big Deal Days” name, but Kohl’s owned the event. With an astounding 47% week-over-week increase in transactions on day one of the two-day event and a 62% increase on day two, Kohl’s saw, by far, the greatest boost in sales during Big Deal Days among top US retailers. 

Not content playing by Amazon’s rules, Kohl’s saw Amazon’s two-day event and countered with their own three-day “Deal Dash” promotion which ran from October 9th through 11th and featured “incredible deals on thousands of items across holiday-favorite categories including toys, tech, kitchen appliances, decor, apparel, and more.” This gave Kohl’s a one-day head start on Amazon whose transactions on the 9th were flat compared with the Monday prior. Meanwhile, transactions increased by a relative 24% over the previous week and then rose dramatically with each subsequent sale day, an indication that shoppers liked what they saw and kept coming back for more.  

In addition to the success enjoyed during the Deal Dash promotion, expect to see Kohl’s post another spike in sales around the 20th of the month as shoppers race to redeem the Kohl’s Cash they earned during the Deal Dash, which are deemable between October 16th and 22nd. In the past when the retailer offered Kohl’s Cash during other sales events, Grips observed a comparable spike in transactions toward the end of the redemption period. This essentially stacks a bonus sale on the Deal Dash resulting in a multiplying effect for Kohl’s already enormous success.

Lesson: Don’t let your competitor set the rules

Target’s ran circles around the competition

When looking at Target’s performance on October 10th and 11th (the official Big Deal Days), it initially appeared as though the Minneapolis-based retailer dropped the big red ball. After taking a step back, however, it became clear that Target was playing the long game and was busy emptying consumers’ wallets while their competitors were deep in preparations for their Big Deal Days promotions.

That’s because Target wisely launched their second Circle Week sale of the year offering big discounts on tech, apparel, home goods and more between October 1st and 7th. And, according to Grips, it paid off with transactions during Circle Week up 11% over the week prior. Even though sales declined by the time Big Deal Days went live, transactions on the 10th and 11th were still 7% higher than they were on the Tuesday and Wednesday two weeks prior. daily transactionsTo fully appreciate Target’s success, we need to look at the 14 days ending October 11th (including the full Circle Week sale and Big Deal Days). Doing so reveals that saw transactions increase a full six percent over the two weeks prior making them one of Big Deal Days’ biggest winners. Only Kohl’s (+13%) saw a bigger increase in sales during this same period. Meanwhile Amazon (+3%), Walmart (+4%), Best Buy (+5%) and Macy’s (+1%) saw a smaller increase. Furthermore, most of their competitor’s gains were concentrated during the narrow two-day sale window. Interestingly, Wayfair actually saw overall transactions decline by 1% compared to the period before Big Deal Days. 

Lesson: The early bird gets the worm

Stay a step ahead of your competitors

Grips Intelligence provides daily reporting on the transactions, revenues and sessions of thousands of e-commerce retailers and DTC brands with fresh insights delivered first thing every morning. This speed to insights and breadth of coverage gives our clients the competitive advantage of seeing how their competitors perform and how their market share is changing in real time giving them time to react before it’s too late. 

Within minutes, Grips can set up a competitive daily tracker so you’ll have the insights you need to make informed decisions. Book a free demo today and start gaining market share tomorrow.