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It’s a Wrap – Amazon Prime Day 2020 Recap

After months of rumored dates, rumored cancellations, and then finally an official announcement just 15 days prior to the event, Prime Day 2020 is now in the rearview mirror. This year’s Prime Day ended up as a 48-hour sales event held October 13-14th.

Here are a few of our key takeaways:

Insights from Our Clients:

Deals Drove Results

Our brands with special deals saw 3x the average daily volume in sales, while brands without deals saw only a slight uptick compared to the previous 30 days.

Media Support Accelerated Growth

More deals and competition required brands to invest in media to stand out and drive volume. For our brands, Sponsored Ads saw an average of 3x average daily volume and the Demand Side Platform (DSP) saw 4x average daily volume.

YOY Growth was Strong

The shift from July to October left a lot of the year-over-year trends and learnings in limbo. But despite the timing shift, our brands saw media investment up 1.2x YOY and ad-driven sales up on average around 1.5x.

Amazon Live Placement had minimal to no impact on overall sales

Several Merkle clients were featured in an Amazon Live Placement. While the reporting for that placement is not yet available, looking at Vendor Central real-time sales by Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN), our brands didn’t see a significant lift during or after the Live spot aired. This is a new experience for shoppers, so it will be interesting to see how Amazon continues to develop this product.

Advertising data delays were even more prevalent on Prime Day

Successfully managing Prime Day media can be difficult without reliable intraday data. We saw lags in data populating for both Sponsored Ads and DSP, but strategically using retail data and competitive trends allowed for successful management.

The Shopper Experience:

Shifting the date led to a shift in messaging

Since Amazon shifted Prime Day to October, many brands and Amazon saw this as the kickoff to holiday. Amazon shifted their messaging to remind shoppers of the proximity with many banners having holiday shopping flare:

Prime day holiday messaging

A Personalized Feel:

Many shoppers didn’t even have to search for deals since Amazon was serving up relevant products to the shopper directly on their homepage. Brands should take note of this experience to ensure they have the right lead up media strategy to ensure shoppers engage with their brand prior to the event.

Prime day personalization

Deal Carousel Placement:

As our team was monitoring, we noticed several Prime Day Deal Carousel Placements. Amazon clearly was testing how to make it even easier for shoppers to find deals, and while this isn’t a paid placement or directly influenced, brands that didn’t participate in deals missed out on this prominent placement.

Prime day carousel

A few highlights from Amazon’s Press Release:

Amazon placed an emphasis on results for Small and Medium Business:

Amazon reported 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. Additionally, Amazon had a promotion to spend $10 with a Small business, get a $10 credit to use on Prime Day.

Prime Day by the Products:

Unsurprisingly an Amazon branded product, the Echo Dot, was the most sold item globally. And according to Amazon, here are the other top selling products:

Amazon Devices:

  • Companies building devices with Alexa built-in had a record Prime Day with Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) Wireless Headphones and Fitbit Versa 2 Health and Fitness Smartwatch being some of the most popular items during the Prime Day event.
  • Customers purchased millions of Alexa compatible devices during the Prime Day event.
  • Customers purchased even more Fire TV Edition Smart TVs than during previous Prime Day events, buying a record-setting number of Fire TV Edition Smart TVs from brands including Toshiba and Insignia.

Top-selling deals from around the US, excluding Amazon Devices:  

  • iRobot Roomba Robot Vacuum, MyQ Wireless & WiFi Enabled Smart Garage Door Opener, LifeStraw Personal Water Filter, Goli Apple Cider Vinegar Vitamins, and Kids Against Maturity: Card Game for Kids and Families.

Amazon uses Prime Day to increase Amazon’s Footprint

Yes, there was a date change, but Amazon was never going to forego Prime Day. This is a huge acquisition moment since shoppers must be a Prime Member to access the deals. Additionally, Amazon put many of their devices on mega sale to entice shoppers to buy products that allow Amazon to have even more touchpoints in their life. And based on Amazon’s pre-Prime Day promotions, it is clear Amazon uses Prime Day to support many of their owned channels and programs.

According to Amazon, Prime members earned tens of millions of dollars in Amazon.com credits from this year’s Spend $10, Get $10 Prime Day promotion while shopping Whole Foods Market, Amazon Fresh, Amazon Go, Amazon Go Grocery, Amazon Books, Amazon Pop Up, and Amazon 4-star stores.

What now?

Prime Day is over, but the holiday season is in full swing. Even Amazon pivoted quickly by releasing their press release announcing their Holiday Dash event just two days after Prime Day. Brands should use the momentum built on Prime Day, especially with any audience-based media, to fully capitalize to win the Q4 holiday season.

Want to learn more? Check out our other Amazon and eRetail blogs here.