After getting rainchecked in July due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, Amazon Prime Day is finally here! The two-day event, which starts on Tuesday October 13th, is looking like it may be the biggest sales event in Amazon’s history,
Here’s what we know about this year’s Prime Day and what we’re predicting will be the shopping event’s biggest hits and biggest flops.
Amazon’s fifth annual Prime Day will run from October 13th to October 14th (Tuesday and Wednesday) and will be held in 19 countries with a focus on supporting small businesses in many markets. Early deals have already gone live ahead of the event. For example, members in the USA and UK received an offer of £10 or $10 credit to spend on Prime Day as an early treat.
This year’s Prime Day event has big footsteps to follow. Last year, over 100 million paid Prime members participated in Prime Day, and over 175 million products were sold in 48 hours, making Prime Day a larger shopping event for Amazon than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. Tony Morales, Director of Advertising at Pattern, said Amazon is prepping itself for an event of similar scale this year.
“Amazon’s warehouses are packed to the gills,” Morales said. “Amazon is putting inventory restrictions on a number of sellers. They are positioning themselves to only hold the best, most desirable inventory, and happen to have the most of that.”
Morales anticipates this year’s Prime Day will be the biggest event Amazon’s ever had.
“The fact that Amazon is able to target their inventory to make sure that they’re only keeping in stock the things that they know are going to sell the best means that they’re going to have record sales, record profitability,” Morales said.
There are two main factors that make this year’s Prime Day different but also may help it hit record numbers. The first is that it’s happening at a time of accelerated demand in the ecommerce space, demand that you’ll recall caught Amazon off guard back in April and May and led to massive delays in shipping and product shortages.
“Amazon was expecting growth, but was not expecting growth at the pace that we have it because of all of the retail shutdowns,” Morales said.
More consumers than ever are purchasing products online and from the comforts of home due to the pandemic. They’re also spending more money and expanding the item set that they would regularly buy online, purchasing groceries and merchandise in the same basket, for example. This bodes really well for Prime Day sales and for prepared brands taking advantage of the amount of people who will be shopping online to push their own sales during the two-day event.
The second factor that gives Amazon a unique advantage over its competitors in all markets this year is the fact that the event has been pushed so close to Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales events. They’re six weeks apart.
According to Morales, Prime Day has had consistent but varying degrees of success for Amazon—in 2015, it was the biggest event Amazon had ever had, but in 2016, it was outpaced by Black Friday. Morales predicts that because these two events are so close this year, many consumers may begin their holiday shopping during Prime Day rather than waiting until next month.
“Because they’re close, we may see a more even matchup or maybe Black Friday doesn’t do as well as Prime Day, but we’ll know when we get there,” Morales said. “Given that these things are so close together, my guess is we’re going to have amplified traffic from mid-October through Christmas.”
Amazon is offering added incentive for consumers to do their holiday shopping during Prime Day with its extended returns window. Typically, Amazon’s holiday returns period runs from November 1st until after Christmas to give customers time to return products bought as gifts. This year, that returns period began on October 1st, making the idea of snagging a great deal on an early Christmas present extra appealing to shoppers.
Torsten Schaefer, Pattern’s new Country Manager for Germany, says that while competing retailers and marketplaces may try to match Prime offers, they will have a limited opportunity unless they are prepared to go out of stock on products just before peak. That puts Amazon in a unique position to pull big numbers.
The products expected to do especially well this Prime Day are big ticket items that customers are saving up for and waiting for a deal on. Apple watches, for example, are anticipated to be one of the biggest winners on Prime Day. TVs, iPads, Alexas, and Kindles will also do really well.
The consumer electronics, home and kitchen, and computer categories are expected to make the biggest wins on the platform, and when it comes to brands, Amazon’s private label brands, (like AmazonBasics), Apple, Samsung, and Under Armour are also anticipated to do really well.
Morales said he thinks PPE is another category that, due to the unique circumstances of COVID-19, will do really well this Prime Day, as consumers are still stocking up on masks and protective products during lockdown.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if people were putting wipes and hand sanitizers as stocking stuffers this year,” Morales said.
The categories expected to do the worst this Prime Day are movies and TV, with shows and movies doing especially poorly. Apps & games and automotive products are also showing low numbers.
Consumers have less discretionary and luxury income to work with due to the effects of the pandemic, and it’s expected that luxury goods will continue to hit lower numbers during Prime Day. Consumer search behavior has experienced major changes since COVID; read more on that here.
Examples of other subcategories that aren’t expected to do well this Prime Day are:
Prime Day 2020 is expected to do really well on a global scale. Schaefer, like Morales, believes Prime Day will be a success this year because customers have been waiting with anticipation for its announcement.
"Extra spending is possible as there have not been many deal events, and sales in offline channels are limited due to COVID-19. People have been told that Prime Day would not be cancelled, and there is also a three percentage point reduction in VAT until the end of the year in Germany," he said.
Pattern's General Manager for Australia, Merline McGregor, likewise believes that, although it’s been announced on such short notice, Amazon Prime Day 2020 is a welcome event for Australia's retail calendar: "With the state of Victoria still in lockdown, retailers and brands are seeking alternative channels to market."
Prime Day is happening right before Australia’s second Click Frenzy sales event of the year (the first was held in May), and it’s expected to sate pent up consumer demand for a sales holiday in that market as well.
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Peak season is almost upon us and with all signs pointing to it starting earlier than ever, with Christmas gifting searches now ramping up in August and September, it’s time to start preparing for peak. In this article, we’re sharing our top five tips for planning and preparing for peak season with Google Ads and the strategies required to get your Paid Search ready so you can drive success over this crucial period.
In 2021, gifting search terms started increasing in popularity in August. The general trend is that people are looking, researching and weighing their options early, so it’s best to start your Paid activity early to ensure that you’re capturing that early research traffic. This will help drive revenue alongside aiding those consumers who are in their research phase.
From 2020 to 2021, spend during Cyber Week actually only rose 2% but in the weeks leading up to it, it increased by 16%. However, Cyber Week is still the biggest period during the latter half of the year, accounting for 23% of all online spend by consumers over peak. Being prepared and starting early will help you to maximise your time during this period.
According to Google, 48% of global consumers have stopped buying or using a service due to privacy concerns. Privacy is front of mind when consumers are shopping online and we know that Google is phasing out 3rd party cookies in 2023. This is going to make it much harder to track users online and it’s something that brands need to think about this now – waiting isn’t an option.
From a Google Ads point of view, you want to ensure you have set up the Google Ads tag across your site and have enabled ‘Enhanced Conversions’, which ensures all conversions are tracked and allows you to monitor other actions such as ‘Add to Cart.’ This is relatively easy to set up, especially if you use ‘Google Tag Manager’.
It’s also vitally important that you build up your first-party data during this time as this is data you own and it can be used when targeting consumers that have provided your brand with their email address. Pattern’s own experience shows that by segmenting and using first-party data, you can see a 10% improvement in revenue and ROI.
A full-funnel approach is now more important than ever as consumers become more discerning and have more choices than ever of where to shop.
Pattern has seen success with Google Ads’ ‘Discovery Campaigns’ (image-based ads that appear on Google platforms such as Gmail and the Google app), which have driven success both from a traffic and revenue perspective.
The performance of these campaigns is significantly enhanced by adopting a segmented and nuanced approach to first-party data and incorporating these into your campaigns. Other options for a full-funnel approach include YouTube and testing bidding on keywords that are more representative of the research phase. (e.g. ‘best baby clothes’ for a baby clothes brand)
Earlier this year, Google announced that they were moving away from Smart Shopping and launched Performance Max. This is a new campaign type that incorporates features and placements from Smart Shopping but expands them onto other platforms such as Gmail but also alternative creative options, such as images and videos.
Since Google has already started automatically upgrading Smart Shopping campaigns to Performance Max, expect to see some fluctuations in the first 2 weeks following the switch over but results generally seem positive. We recommend upgrading sooner rather than later to limit any potential impact to peak period.
Peak period will be even more competitive than in 2021 and you’ll need your budgets to support this period, we recommend boosting budgets in October to start capturing that early peak traffic. As we enter November and the Cyber Period, start early and make sure you are capturing those consumers looking for early bargains, ensuring you are being nimble in your optimisations and reacting to the data that you are seeing.
Overall, peak period is vital to help drive your sales and by preparing early, you will see strong results and drive success for your brand. If you want to discuss how your brand can navigate this next peak period, contact us to discuss your options with our performance team now.
Entering the ecommerce landscape is a huge undertaking for any brand—it usually requires a large investment in resources and expertise to really be successful. Any brand can quickly get in over their heads trying to navigate the nuances of SEO, fulfillment and logistics, distribution control, listing optimization, and meeting the numerous other requirements and administrative tasks to show up well on marketplaces.
Unfortunately, because it’s so easy for third party, gray market, and unauthorized sellers to obtain and sell products online, many brands find themselves pressured to execute an ecommerce plan without the right resources to succeed on marketplaces and their other channels.
So, for brands looking to enter the ecommerce space or improve their current and future performance, it makes sense to partner with an ecommerce consultant.
Pattern’s global presence and proven success with hundreds of brands has allowed us to develop highly effective ecommerce consulting services. We can guide your brand to navigate issues both large and small in marketplaces worldwide. To maximize your ecommerce efforts, you’ll need to understand what an ecommerce consultant does and how to select one who drives the right value for your brand and products.
An ecommerce consultant is a specialist in the ecommerce space who can give you personalized guidance on how to market your products and grow their presence on digital marketplaces.
An ecommerce consultant should be able to analyze your brand, audience, category, opportunity, and current roadblocks and help you understand how to utilize your resources (or what resources are missing) to be most effective in capturing your opportunities in the ecommerce space.
Not sure how to evaluate a consultant? Here are 4 key attributes to look for as you make your choice.
At Pattern, we prioritize brand obsession for a reason—we know that a brand-centered mindset makes a crucial difference in the outcomes and results our partners achieve. So in our experience, when you begin your search for an ecommerce consultant, it’s important to look for a partner who is specialized in ecommerce, invested in the product, and passionate about helping brands build and improve their strategies. Typically, this means finding someone that consults exclusively for ecommerce marketplaces, rather than choosing a consultant who offers many different services.
It’s also important to avoid choosing a consulting partner who can’t deliver the right experience for your brand. The best indication of whether your potential consultant can do that is to review their history, data, and results with other brands. Ask if they’ve helped others in your selling category, if they’ve solved specific issues your brand is facing, and why they feel you are a good fit. The key is to leave the conversation feeling confident that you understand your consultants’ capabilities and whether or not they match up with your needs.
It’s best to pick a consultant who knows how to guide a brand onto and through multiple marketplaces worldwide. You’ll want to take a look at your long-term strategy and think about the regions and platforms you’re currently on and where you might want to take your brand in the future. If your consultant is truly great at what they do, they’ll be able to help you perform well enough with your current product roadmap that it’ll be a no-brainer to expand your presence at the right time.
The most effective partnership with an ecommerce consultant will be able to give you both recommendations and point you to solutions for making those changes in your planning, processes, and execution. Your time and money is valuable, so you want to make sure that you’re spending it as efficiently as possible as you follow your consultant’s advice. So, before you commit to an ecommerce consultant, ask about the resources and concrete solutions they typically recommend to the brands they work with.
Finding an ecommerce consultant that checks the boxes can be a difficult task. At Pattern, our entire focus and drive centers around giving brands the tools and resources they need to succeed on domestic and international ecommerce marketplaces.
With over 100 global ecommerce consultants across 10 global offices, we have the right tools to partner with brands across the world to achieve better ecommerce success. We give specialized advice, then make sure our partners have all the adequate SEO, social media, CRM, Amazon multi-channel fulfillment services, and ecommerce outsourcing services they need.
Interested in ecommerce consulting services? Set up a call here to learn what Pattern can do for your brand on global marketplaces.