Marketplace and Retailer Optimization

Using Media to Capitalize on Amazon's Prime Day

Amazon recently announced changes to its annual Prime Day, increasing it from a 36-hour to a 48-hour event on July 15th and 16th. The increase in duration was as much a surprise as the dates (although we suspected it was mid-July based on prior years), as Amazon typically remains tightly guarded on advanced notice of this information.

But why the secret? Amazon Prime Day not only creates a shopping event in a traditionally quiet part of the year for shopping, but also causes a frenzy of shopping around the web. Amazon strategically waits to announce Prime Day so that they do not give a lot of notice to competing counter offers that sit outside of Amazon in other retail environments.

How successful is Amazon Prime Day for retail?

As reported by Criteo, sales outside of Amazon surged by up to +42% in 2018. At iProspect, we saw surges during Prime Day in 2018, when looking at performance for brands that have their own sites and on owned and operated brand websites we saw sales surge by up to 20%. Finally as reported in our Q3 2018 trends report, sales on Amazon Prime Day in July 2018 went up as much as 311%.

Graph of Criteo reported sales outside of Amazon on Prime Day in 2018.

So how can we capitalize on the overall increase in shopping behavior in mid-July?

It’s important to have a deal to offer consumers, whether that’s a deal on Amazon or off it. Consumers are savvy to shop around and look at historical prices. Without a deal, Prime Day could be an expensive conversion exercise and gaining awareness in such a savings-centric period would be challenging.

Depending on if a discount lives on Amazon or outside of Amazon during Prime Day, here are some options available to minimize brand spend and maximize brand performance:

If the deal lives on Amazon:

  • Ensure the creative on Amazon placements, such as Sponsored Brand adverts and DSP banners, uses language that promotes a “limited time” price reduction.
  • If you’re also leveraging social media, encourage influencers to talk about a deal and send their traffic through to Amazon using Amazon’s affiliate program. For high-profile influencers, taking advantage of Amazon Live (Amazon’s equivalent of a shopping TV channel) allows for real-life interactions with the product and a direct link while the product is being demonstrated.
  • Looking to amplify an Amazon exclusive deal? Search engines such as Google and Bing allow sitelinks to promote a specific Amazon product and/or Amazon Brand store (a brand’s chance to have their own microsite on Amazon). Add some of those attribution click trackers and you will be able to see the sales driven to Amazon from non-Amazon ads.

If the deal lives outside Amazon:

  • In the case of non-competing products that are not sold on Amazon, it is possible to place display banners on Amazon and take people outside of Amazon to a brand’s site. You didn’t read that wrong – you can take advantage of Amazon shoppers’ enthusiasm on Amazon and take them off the site, providing there is no conflict of interest. The shopper data is very recent and a carefully crafted campaign can build a huge lookalike audience or a likely to purchase campaign using the in-depth and recent targeting available.

Whatever the media and destination, don’t let all those plans go to waste by not anticipating the extra demand on your channels and not having enough budget to last throughout this year’s two-day Prime Day event. All of your preparations and efforts can be wasted if your media only lasts until 11am because of the extra budget needed.

Lastly, do think of your offer lasting a little beyond Prime Day. There will still be a high interest even after Amazon’s Prime Day closes. It is therefore important to consider balancing a limited time true deal with the right number of days and targeting the consumers who may have missed a sale that they were hoping to cash in on. Going above and beyond what Amazon is doing is really never a bad idea.

Basically, it’s important to remember that customers are incredibly smart when it comes to Prime Day and brands should be too.