Amazon Prime Day first launched on July 15th, 2015 to celebrate Amazon.com’s 20th anniversary. And even though Amazon Prime Day is merely six years old, it’s already become one of the biggest online shopping days of the entire year.
As you know, we love diving deep into our data to learn more about online shopping trends, and few events have been more interesting to us than Amazon Prime Day. An online shopping holiday built entirely around shopping on Amazon is sure to drive some particularly interesting trends. Particularly last year, as Prime Day was postponed from July to October as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
We wanted to know: Which categories of items saw the biggest boost during Prime Day last year? Which ones actually saw demand fall off last year? What were the top categories during Prime Day? And did COVID-19 show up in the types of categories that did or did not do well during Prime Day?
We crunched the numbers, so keep reading while we seek to answer these questions and more.
With a near limitless supply of items available, visiting specific category pages on Amazon is an extremely popular way to browse for deals without getting overwhelmed. So we first decided to look at category pages that were the most popular on Amazon Prime Day last year:
Electronics, gadgets, and phones were extremely popular on Prime Day last year. Cell phone and accessories were the number category, while electronics accessories and supplies were number two. Electronics and cell phone accessories were also in the top ten.
Home goods and supplies were also quite popular. Home and kitchen was the third largest category while home improvement, health and household, and appliances were also all in the top ten.
But these are categories that we’d expect to be popular year-round. So next we took a look at the top ten categories on the day before Prime Day last year:
Cell phones and accessories were also the number one category on the day before Amazon Prime Day, but there’s still evidence that Prime Day did provide a significant boost to electronic and phone related categories. Electronic accessories and supplies was only the #5 category on the day before Prime Day, electronics was #10, and cell phone accessories weren’t in the top ten at all.
Home improvement actually dropped from the #2 category on the day before Prime Day to the #4 category on Prime Day itself. Health and household products dropped as well, as did beauty and personal care.
To more clearly illustrate how Prime Day impacted these top categories, here’s a side-by-side comparison showing demand for the top ten categories on Prime Day and how much demand those same categories received on the day before Prime Day:
Impressively, every category in the top ten saw at least a modest increase in demand on Prime Day. Cell phones and accessories, which was already the top category on the day before Prime Day, saw demand increase by 35% on Prime Day. For the most popular category on the website to receive a boost of that size underscores the power of Prime Day.
Even home improvement and health and household products, which dropped in their overall rankings, received at least a modest bump in demand on Prime Day. But the big winner in the top 10 categories was Electronics, which got a truly impressive 57% boost on Prime Day.
For reference, here’s the daily demand for some of these top categories for each day of 2020.
Cell phones and accessories take a significant and noticeable leap on Prime Day, but it’s actually Black Friday and the day after Christmas that represent the top days of the year for this category.
Even though cell phones and accessories is the top category on Prime Day, electronics is clearly the major category that benefits from the holiday the most.
Demand is remarkably stable for this category through the first three quarters of the year until Prime Day. The holiday is so huge for this category that it even dwarfs Black Friday.
Home and kitchen, meanwhile, shows a less dramatic, but still impressive increase in demand on Prime Day compared to the rest of the year:
The impact of Prime Day on home and kitchen categories amplifies as you drill deeper into specific subcategories. Particularly smaller kitchen appliances, like air fryers, for example.
Health and household products (which includes things like cleaning supplies, etc.), meanwhile, received no discernable bump on Amazon Prime Day.
Instead, it was the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic that provided a huge initial lift for that category.
Let’s drill deeper into a similar category and view daily demand for personal protective equipment and safety gear like masks and face shields:
Again, we see it was early pandemic scare moments that moved the needle for this category as well. However, it appears that Prime Day didn’t have a negative impact on either category, which suggests that people were doing additional shopping for luxury items on the holiday.
Daily views for other major categories reinforce this theory.
So while some categories may have seen their rankings drop during Prime Day, it wasn’t necessarily because fewer people than usual were browsing those major categories, but rather other categories received more additional traffic.
Naturally, this got us wondering, which categories received the biggest bump on Prime Day?
Let’s find out.
Again, we can’t underscore enough how significant it is for the top categories on all of Amazon to see demand rise to such a degree, but surely, some of the more niche categories got even bigger boosts, right?
Well, there was only one way for us to find out. We dug extra deep into our data by including the narrower, more specific categories and seeing which ones saw demand climb the highest on Prime Day:
In line with the broader trends we saw in the previous section, personal gadgets and kitchen appliances did quite well on Prime Day last year.
Running GPS units saw a 142% increase in demand on Prime Day, good for the largest increase in the categories included in our analysis.
Yogurt makers, digital picture frames, garage door openers, slow cookers, pet cameras, and suitcases all saw demand more than double on Prime Day. Other top ten categories included gadgets like handheld GPS units, sound bars, and memory cars, as well as home goods like dutch ovens and doorbells.
Here’s a daily view of some of the categories above to show just how much Prime Day moved the needle:
Browsing through categories is the “window shopping” version of shopping on Amazon, but what about people who visit the site with a very specific product in mind? What kind of impact does Prime Day have on specific queries?
Let’s start by examining the top ten queries on Amazon Prime Day last year:
Apple Watch was far and away the most popular search term on Prime Day. The remaining top terms also align well with the top categories we saw on Prime Day, including plenty of gadgets and home and kitchen items.
Interestingly, only one Amazon produced product — the Fire Stick — cracked the top ten, despite Amazon’s heavy promotion of their own products during the holiday.
Of course, many of these queries are for some of the most consistently popular items on the market. So let’s take a look at the top queries on the day before Prime Day for a baseline reference.
The top two queries on the day before Prime Day last year are almost certainly queries we wouldn’t expect to be the top two on the day before Prime Day this year.
“Halloween decorations” was the top query, unsurprising as Prime Day was postponed to mid-October. “Face mask,” as you might expect, was a top search term throughout much of last year. “Desk” was another popular query during 2020 as millions of Americans sought to improve their home offices during the pandemic.
You could argue, then, that Prime Day saw online shopping habits “return to normal” as popular pandemic and seasonal shopping terms fell out of the top ten and were replaced by standard pre-pandemic favorites.
Now let’s take a look at which search terms got the biggest boost on Prime Day:
“Lifestraw” saw the biggest leap up the rankings out of any term in our analysis, climbing from the #14,722 ranked query on October 12th all the way up to the 624rth most popular query on Prime Day.
“Under Armour” was another impressive climber, leaping from the 3,904th most popular term all the way to the top 150 terms.
Meanwhile, here were the queries who saw the biggest drops in popularity on Prime Day:
Here is where we really see mid-October’s influence, as people hit pause on watching halloween movies and shopping for halloween clothes in order to seek out Prime Day deals instead.
Our data shows that Amazon Prime Day has a clear and strong impact on how and what people shop for. People tend to browse for deals on electronics, gadgets, and home and kitchen supplies. They also seem to search after specific brand-name items in hopes to find a killer Prime Day deal.
2020 brought unique and unusual trends, with personal protective equipment and home office supplies rising in popularity, but those weren’t really the items people were seeking after on Prime Day. What kind of impact this might have, if any, on Prime Day this year remains to be seen. Stay tuned, as we’ll keep an eye on these trends throughout the rest of this year.
Understanding the factors that influence consumer behavior can help brands better understand how to forecast demand for their products on online marketplaces, and even inform product design and marketing strategy.
To stay up to date on consumer behavior and ecommerce news, info, and trend analyses, be sure to subscribe to Pattern Insights on the right.
And, if you’d like to learn more about how you can best leverage our data to help your brand win online, holiday or not, schedule a demo today.
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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.