E-Commerce Trends: Playing the Amazon Prime Day Long-Game

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Channel baker logoHaving an undeniable impact on e-commerce over the last decade, Amazon has not only changed how people shop but when they shop, shaking up Americans’ holiday-shopping calendar with Black Friday-style sales in July known as Amazon Prime Day. With over $4 billion spent and 100 million purchases (CNBC) made during last year’s 36-hour event, Prime Day is slowly closing in on Black Friday (with $6.2 billion in sales) as the apex of the US shopping calendar. Furthermore, many other major retailers are taking part by offering their own massive sales events to counter Amazon over the same time period.

This week Amazon confirmed the official date of Prime Day 2019 as July 15. Marking the fifth annual event, it is expected to be bigger (and run longer – 48 hours) than ever before. However, while Prime Day is just a 2-day event for consumers, shoppers typically plan their shopping strategy well ahead of July 15th, which means that brands need to plan their strategy far in advance.

Based on traffic, we know that people start “window shopping” as soon as Prime Day dates are announced, which could be 2-plus week in advance of the event, so it’s the perfect time to tailor your Ad strategy, Prime the Pump, to make sure you’re getting in front of people before they are overwhelmed by day-of deals. Taking that into account, we recommend that brands decide what their deal is going to be months in advance and iron out details such as how many units will be available. While sales conversion rates will likely be low during this time, sales for a brand’s entire product portfolios can benefit from the right advertising strategy leading up to Prime Day. Shoppers are getting their wish lists in order to make sure they are ready to hit buy with Prime Day begins, so you’ll need to invest in the long game.

It’s also imperative to keep in mind that today’s shoppers are more price sensitive and brand agnostic, the opposite is true on Prime Day. Prime Day is a time where aspirational shoppers go to Amazon to seek out brands they aspire to own, knowing there may likely be a deal. Shoppers generally have a good idea of what they are looking for, like a 75-inch Samsung QLED television as well as deals premium products with a higher price point. While most ad campaigns running on Amazon link to a specific product or set of search results, Amazon Brand Stores empowers brands to showcase a group of related products with additional information like videos or hero images.

Think of it like Target: people joke they walk into the store for something small like toilet paper and leave with a full cart of other things they didn’t know they needed. Prime Day offers brands an opportunity to cross merchandise through Brand Stores to replicate that in-store shopping behavior. A well-executed cross merchandising strategy is a Prime Day power move and Amazon Brand Stores are an effective way to increase same-brand sales.

Making it easy for customers is key, especially as the number of deals they are exposed to on a single day can be very overwhelming (thus the pre-shop popularity). Doing simple things like looking at the questions people are asking about a product and offering visuals that answer the question before it is asked is a great way to make customers gravitate towards your product rather than a competitor. Simply put: you’re helping do the research for them.

Further, the opportunity exists to ride the Prime Day wave far beyond mid-July. The audience brands can attract on Prime Day can actually be more valuable than the day itself. Being able to see insights such as who was looking but didn’t complete a purchase, or who did complete a purchase but didn’t buy an accessory, provides an opportunity to continue to target these shoppers throughout their Amazon shopping experience after Prime Day, making this day a truly unique way to drive incremental sales.

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