Not immune to the disruption brought about by this year’s pandemic (though certainly profiting from it), Amazon hosted its annual Prime Day outside of the usual July window.
First offered in 2015 and often touted as Christmas in July because of the shopping volume rivaling only that of the winter gift-giving holidays, Prime Day has been the key to a profitable Q3 for millions of online retailers.
This year, however, Prime Day was delayed from mid-July to mid-October to give shoppers and all parts of the supply chain a chance to establish a new normal in the face of COVID-19. As if sales projections hadn’t already been skewed enough by the pandemic, the change of Prime Day from early Q3 to early Q4 forced brands and marketplace sellers to rethink their strategies with regard to meeting their financial goals for 2020, even those plans already adjusted for COVID.
“We believe Amazon moved Prime Day back to October to stretch the holiday shopping period. There were a lot of noticeable issues with delivery speeds in Q2 during the peak of quarantine. As one way to combat these issues resurfacing during the holiday season, we see Amazon trying to shift consumer behavior to thinking of Prime Day — not Cyber5 [the weekend of Black Friday through Cyber Monday] — as the start of the holiday season. If successful, Amazon will turn a gift-shopping period that normally lasts 20-30 days into one that lasts approximately 60 days. In doing so, this will free up shipping bandwidth and, ideally, significantly cut down the chances of shipments delayed to post–holiday. It will also give consumers more choices about spending given the uncertainty of the moment.”
—Mike Frekey, Director of Applied Data at EXCLUSIVE Concepts
eMarketer predicted that Amazon would generate $9.91 billion in Prime Day worldwide sales, up 43% from the the previous year’s event. Although Amazon doesn’t announce its exact sales publicly, trusted sources like Digital Commerce 360 estimate shows that Prime Day 2020 exceeded eMarketer’s prediction, closing out at $10.4 billion — up 45.2% from the previous year’s event.
The key driver of this year’s Prime Day success was marketplace sellers. According to Amazon, “Third-party sellers — most of which are small and medium-sized businesses — surpassed $3.5 billion in sales on Prime Day — a nearly 60% year-over-year increase, growing even more than Amazon’s retail business.”
Amazon cited some of the best-selling categories during Prime Day 2020 as:
Prime Day 2020’s top-performing categories should be little surprise given this year’s pandemic-driven emphasis on health, home, and hobbies. Our in-house trendspotting team found results to be in keeping with Amazon’s. Here are some additional winners identified by the EXCLUSIVE team:
Businesses using EXCLUSIVE for their digital marketing experienced gains above and beyond the averages. According to Mike Frekey, “EXCLUSIVE has seen explosive average growth of 98% across our portfolio in October. For our clients, Prime Day 2020 revenue was up 121% relative to Prime Day 2019.”
Additional successes for EXCLUSIVE clients:
Prime Day has marked an unofficial kick-off to the holiday season, but our thoughts and questions are more so focused on the weeks ahead.
The answer to all these questions is (very likely) YES.
A key input to that yes is informed by data and research – something that we, at EXCLUSIVE, always deploy when recommending and developing strategies for our clients.
Deloitte’s annual holiday projections show that eCommerce sales will grow by 25%-35% this year with sales increasing by 14.7% compared to 2019. To benefit from the potential success that eCommerce will see this holiday season, you must be bold, have a solid plan in place, meet your buyers where they are, and be able to track daily progress so that you can pivot and adjust quickly.
With new features and algorithms rolling out on Google and Amazon all the time, the updated requirements for success in Google Shopping and Amazon Ads can make it tempting to use automation for your e-commerce marketing campaigns. But the “set it and forget it” approach neglects the specific advantages of your unique company and industry trends. Your campaign performance will reflect what went into it, just like any other task for your business: you get what you give. For success in Amazon Ads and Google Shopping, you need to monitor the right metrics on the right schedule and determine effective marketing strategies based on that data.
Learn how automation can hold you back in the face of updated requirements for successful campaigns in Amazon Ads and Google Shopping, and get three key tips to guiding your own campaigns with this webinar.