Well, how did Amazon and sellers do?
Let’s look first at facts.
Amazon did not disclose actual revenue from the 2021 Prime Day event, but did say they were two biggest days ever for Small and Medium size Businesses, exceeding sales from Amazon Retail.
Amazon also stated that members saved more than any previous Prime Day.
Over 250 mln items were sold on Amazon during 48 hours of Prime Day.
(Full Amazon announcement here).
Categories shopped during Prime Days:
Source: Numerator Prime Day Survey
Prime Day observations
- Muted numbers – Amazon is not known for being shy when reporting on its own achievements. So when Amazon did not say that 2021 Prime Day event was the biggest ever shopping day (as it has happened in prior years), we take it as the sales numbers were not as in the past prior years. Does it mean power of Amazon diminished? Of course not. But what it may mean is that after 7 years of Prime Days it is becoming harder for Amazon to maintain the growth velocity for the shopping event it created.
- Small and medium businesses power – sales by 3rd party sellers exceeded sales by Amazon retail (1P). This has been the trend in the last few years. In Q1 of 2020 55% of sales on Amazon came from 3rd party sellers. Prime Day was a reflection of that as well.
- Logistical challenges – Amazon moving Prime Day end of June, instead of anticipated mid-July (as in pre-2020 years). Supply chain hickups that COVID brought continued for sellers into 2021, and Amazon placing stricter limits on FBA storage. All of that made it difficult to ramp up inventory levels leading up to Prime Day.
- Shifts in shopping – lower prices, and while Electronics still featured most of the bestsellers list, a lot more bestselling items were more prosaic and every day (read, consumables). According to the data tracking site Numerator, the average Prime Day 2021 spend per order is $47.14, down from $54.64 on Prime Day 2020 and $58.91 on Prime Day 2019. Total numbers of Prime Day orders were higher than in the past (250 mln items, vs. 175 mln in 2020), yet, we know that sales numbers were not higher. Combination of lower average order and higher total items, without record revenue leads us to the conclusion that items that customers were buying on Prime Day were not only Prime Day deals, gifts, things customers were saving for, but also items for their day to day life.
Prime Day Tactics
1. Use Prime Day Deal coupons
Prime Day Deal coupon is a coupon specific to, well, Prime Day. While it is not new as a feature in itself, this year we observed that Amazon suppressed a regular coupon image in search results. Coupon image does increase click through rates, so absence of that certainly negatively impacted brands with regular coupons on Prime Day.
Here is an example:
A non-Prime Day coupons are clearly shown.
During the two day Prime Day event however, Amazon was not displaying the regular coupon image, even though the coupon was still in effect.
But you can clearly see Prime Day deal on a different brand right next to the JoJo’s image.
Which one you think had more clicks?
2. Go more aggressive with advertising later in a day
A lot of advertisers run out of their set daily budget before the day is over. That means that specific seller is out of competition for ads for the remainder of the day, until ads will restart the following day. It is great to take advantage of that afternoon-evening less competitive space. This tactic works on a non-Prime Day, but can make a lot bigger difference in sales on event days like this.
3. View Prime Day as a way to get more customers into your brand
What does Amazon always like to boast about on Prime Days? New Prime members. Amazon devices (Kindle, Echo, Firestick, etc.) are always on the bestseller list for any Prime Day year. What do those devices do? Integrate Amazon into our daily lives. So for Amazon Prime Day is all about getting new customers into Amazon ‘brand’, its’ ecosystem that eventually wraps us, with our wallets, in its’ vastness, convenience, and choices.
Brands should approach Prime Day from what perspective as well. We have found that brand awareness and new customer acquisition getting new customers is sometimes the best, and only objective, for Prime Day.
So, how did you do on Prime Day? if you are not happy with the results, let’s chat.