Thoughts on Amazon Prime Day

Yesterday, July 15th, was the first Amazon Prime Day. Marketed heavily as its biggest sale of the year, the tagline "Step aside BlackFriday, meet Prime Day" saturated the digital world. Amazon claimed that this sale would offer bigger discounts than any Black Friday sale, with one caveat. In order to qualify, one needed to be or become an Amazon Prime member.  

With all the hype and anticipation, the sales were quickly criticized on social media before the day was over. Despite a handful of very attractive offers, it seems the layout of the day confused users. Amazon designed this mega day of discounts with a variety of flash sales throughout the day, and items either sold out quickly or discounted prices expired before the user was able to purchase.

46% savings on plasma TV’s


Additional flash sales -

To sweeten the deal further, Amazon offered a free 30 day "Prime Trial" to nonmembers who wanted to take advantage of this sale. This piece of information begged the question, was Amazon leveraging the pull of a mega sale to sneakily grow its Prime customer base?

Initially it seemed that this huge sale was for Prime users only, but actually anyone was eligible. For those not familiar, Amazon Prime normally costs $99 per year and includes free two day shipping. Amazon has been expanding their Prime services, including a Same Day Shipping offering in certain areas.

Throughout yesterday's Prime Day, iProspect's retail clients noticed interesting changes in their account performance. In some instances CPC’s were 1% to 2% higher, CTR’s decreased by an average of 4% and there were noticeable decreases in CVR of up to 20% due to an increase in traffic and comparison shoppers.

As the effects of this sale solidify… what does this mean for the rest of the retail space? As more data is analyzed and impacts to accounts are assessed we should consider looking into this as a seasonality change to our forecasts and media plans for next year. Retailers should consider supporting this sales season to stay competitive or perhaps pick a separate month all together where there is less competition and create their own “mega sale” month. Whether or not Amazon Prime Day was a success is yet to be seen, but it definitely has the retail marketing space thinking.