Prime Day 2021 was back to its regular summer schedule this year, but in spite of a slight return to normal, the event was anything but–at least if recent history has anything to say about it.
While Prime Day continues to grow year over year and remains a large and highly anticipated event for Amazon, the market has seen its share of tumult and uncertainty over the past year. That tumult and uncertainty was reflected in this year’s June 21st and 22nd event.
How successful was Prime Day 2021? What were the biggest wins and notable losses? Let’s take a look at the trends.
While Prime Day typically pulls big numbers—it’s seen a consistent growth rate of 50% or more year over year—this year’s event was just okay. In fact, Prime Day 2021’s growth actually decelerated substantially.
Prime Day 2021 grew a mere 5-10% over last year’s event, with Amazon reportedly hitting $11.9 billion in sales. That number is a relatively small step up from the $10.39 billion Amazon made on Prime Day 2020, which was pushed to October 13th and 14th due to challenges associated with Covid-19.
Last year’s sales numbers give a good idea of just how muted this year’s growth was: Prime Day 2020 saw a more than 45% sales gain from $7.16 billion in 2019. That equates to about a 35% drop in 2021.
Overall, reports indicate a very moderate year for the event, though Amazon reports that Prime members purchased over 250 million items during this year’s event and some categories saw noticeable lift.
One of the biggest challenges Amazon faced as a company last year was meeting consumer demand and supplying enough inventory throughout the initial stages of the Covid-19 pandemic. Global manufacturers have continued to struggle to meet demand in 2021, and not only has that impacted the market as a whole, but it’s a primary reason why Prime Day was less successful than in previous years.
Many brands have struggled to retain enough inventory to put in the hands of customers due to global manufacturing constraints. Currently, it’s very difficult to get inventory out of international ports, which has also contributed to fewer sales. And while some brands got lucky during Prime Day, lack of inventory led to lackluster sales offerings overall.
In spite of last year being a wild and, yes, unprecedented year for manufacturing and ecommerce, Prime Day 2020 was uniquely positioned to capture sales because of its proximity to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In a twist of events, these sales holidays saw lighter traffic than expected because brands pushed their promotion periods up to compete for holiday shoppers during Prime Week in October. Returning the sales period to the summertime naturally meant distancing it from that holiday traffic, which may have also contributed to lower sales growth.
Even though Prime Day 2021 was mild overall, there were isolated categories that did really well. Baby products and home products had a successful Prime Day, largely because brands had plenty of inventory, as did nutrition, tools, Amazon devices, apparel and housewares, and electronics.
In spite of having a decent Prime Day, the tech category in particular had challenges that contributed to lower sales across the entire event.
Tech products have been some of the hardest to get ahold of in 2021 due to manufacturing delays. As a result, many third-party sellers used this year’s Prime Day to discount and clear out older generation product they had available in their warehouses. Older tech products are of little interest to Prime Day shoppers, who have come to expect screaming deals on the latest and greatest during the event. Lacking that opportunity, the event was less successful than it may have been otherwise.
In spite of having a lower than normal growth, Prime Day 2021 marks the second Prime Day event in a row when marketplace sales grew faster than sales of Amazon’s own products. The company has been pushing more small and medium-sized businesses to the front of its Prime Day event, and the proof of its success is in the numbers.
Marketplace sales grew 12% in 2021, while sales of Amazon’s products, including its private label goods, grew only 5.3%. Marketplace Prime Day sales had been on the decline before 2020, as Amazon has historically heavily promoted its own products during the event, but the share of marketplace sales has been growing.
The past two Prime Day events have not quite been par for the course for Amazon, and there is still uncertainty about what global manufacturing will look like in 2022, if it will have improved significantly by then, for example, or if it will remain just as constrained as it has been in 2020 and 2021.
The lead up to the holidays will be a good indicator of what next year’s Prime Day may look like, and while this year’s event wasn’t overwhelmingly successful, there is hope that Prime Day will return to more normalcy next year and that there may be more competition on the horizon.
We’ve known this for awhile, but Prime Day isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The event has become a massive promotion for Amazon and it’s garnered enough attention to become an established sales holiday akin to Black Friday or Cyber Monday. No longer can brands ignore Prime Day, and no longer are they.
Ecommerce brands like Walmart and Target have already adapted to capture the attention of shoppers during Prime Day, running their own promotions and adding excitement to their online shopping experience to stay competitive. Wise third party sellers are also taking advantage of Prime Day traffic to either drive conversion on their listings or run retargeted ad campaigns to capture sales in the coming months leading up to the holidays. What we may see in the years to come are big brands offering “Prime Day” like promotions at a scale to really give Amazon a run for their money.
The reality is the entire ecommerce ecosystem is a hot place to be during Prime Week, and just like most brands offer sales and excitement during Black Friday to attract customers, most brands are having to do the same during Prime Day to stay competitive and keep up. As the event continues to grow (and hopefully return to normal), the opportunities for brands to expand in this space will grow as well.
Looking to get your brand on Amazon and not sure where to start? Pattern is your answer. We’ll help you create stellar marketplace listings and effective ad campaigns, and we’ll also prepare you with everything you need for the next Prime Day so you’re ready to go (and grow) on Amazon. To learn more, contact us today!
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Walmart.com has announced important changes regarding the “Was Price” and promotions on the digital marketplace. These updates make it more important than ever to optimize your price through implementing proper strategies, controlling your distribution channels, and being intentional about your pricing strategy.
And, as with all digital marketplaces, succeeding on Walmart.com requires performing well in all areas of The Ecommerce Equation. Which means as you optimize your listings’ pricing, as well as traffic, conversions, and availability, your revenue increases.
Pattern has the resources ecommerce brands need to optimize on marketplaces for each factor in the ecommerce equation. We have the technology and strategists to help you improve your traffic, the brand dedication and passion to help you achieve greater conversions, connections to econtrol specialists who help brands regain marketplace control, and the data you need to be able to make smart forecasting decisions for better product availability.
Below, we’ll cover how Walmart.com’s recent platform changes impact ecommerce brands’ ability to drive traffic and conversions for their products and how to strategize around them to work best in your brand’s favor. But first, let’s go over the changes themselves.
Walmart.com’s newest changes reflect their mission to be the leader in low, everyday pricing. Therefore, Walmart’s customers come to the platform and expect low prices no matter what. Overall, these updates give consumers more visibility into the value they’re experiencing and hold brands more accountable in the pricing information they display.
Due to Walmart’s updates, in order for your products to qualify for a strikethrough and show “Reduced Price” or “Clearance” flags on Walmart.com, your product’s promotion must be at least 10% off the “Was Price.” (Note: “Reduced Price” is the most common type of badging. Your teams can request this badge when filling out promotion upload files.)
To specifically qualify for “Clearance,” the product needs to be discontinued and no longer replenished after selling through the remaining inventory.
Although “Rollback” is sometimes seen on site, it is a form of 1P-only badging.
Walmart now prohibits promotions lasting longer than 365 days.
Walmart’s “Was Price” was previously loosely defined and manually inputted on Walmart.com as an MSRP. Now, stricter rules are in place with regulations in the broader market to encourage enforcement and protect consumers.
The “Was Price” is now defined by these terms on Walmart:
Either the 90-day median price paid by customers for the item on Walmart.com (excluding special promotions like holiday campaigns, limited time deals, rollbacks, and clearance);
Or the median price offered by Walmart or Marketplace sellers for the item on Walmart.com for at least 28 out of the last 90 days (excluding special promotions like holiday campaigns, limited time deals, rollbacks, and clearance).
To protect your “Was Price” from price erosion, be intentional when planning promotions. To be most effective in your promotion, you’ll want to be able to give your customers a large enough discount to qualify for the slash-through and reduced price badging.
Without the right pricing strategy in place, your products are in danger of falling into deeper and deeper discounting as you chase the ability to achieve slash-throughs and proper badging. Without the slash-throughs and badging, you’ll lose the ability to easily communicate the increased value of your product and the traffic and conversions you’re trying to earn by running the promotion in the first place.
It’s important to keep your products’ prices as steady as possible to protect your promotion periods. As you prevent high-low price fluctuations, you’ll be able to use slash-through prices and promotional badges like “Reduced Price” and “Clearance” to your advantage in driving better traffic and conversions for your listings.
Without the ability to display badging, a promotion falls flat even if the price has been dropped. With steady pricing over time, you’ll be able to keep a stable “Was Price” and ultimately enjoy more rewarding promotional periods long-term.
It’s important to remember that the “Was Price” policy also applies to 1P and other 3P sellers representing your products on Walmart.com. Unfortunately, your other strategies will be ineffective if other sellers are breaking your MAP policy or playing the high-low price game. So, it’s more important than ever for brands to be conscious of their distribution channels and keep rogue and unauthorized sellers in check.
By allowing Pattern to be the authorized seller of your brand’s products and working with Vorys eControl law firm to eliminate rogue sellers, you can be confident in creating and executing a powerful selling strategy on Walmart.com and other digital marketplaces. As a 3P seller partner, Pattern is truly invested in our partners’ success, we’ll help you to create and execute a strategy that truly prioritizes the long-term performance of your products on digital marketplaces.
Contact us today to learn more about the changes on Walmart.com and how you can optimize your performance.
If you’re in the global ecommerce space, you are most likely aware of Amazon, and probably selling your products on the marketplace. With over $470 billion in sales in 2021 alone, Amazon stands as the third largest company in the world based on revenue. The ecommerce giant is a household name in the U.S. and working hard to grow its market share across five continents worldwide.
Having your products available on Amazon and being competitive there, though, are definitely two different things. If you want to really succeed on Amazon, you’ll need specialized insight into how Amazon works and how to make it work for you. So, for many brands, it’s a great idea to work with an Amazon Search Engine Optimization (SEO) agency.
At Pattern, Amazon SEO optimization service is one of our key competencies. We understand that technology, data-driven insights and expertise are the most important tools brands can leverage to win top listing spots on digital marketplaces. With expert teams and years of experience, we help brands conquer the Profitability Death Spiral as they compete with other products and sellers online. We offer Amazon SEO agency services as a core solution to brands that need more resources to get ahead.
An Amazon SEO agency serves brands by improving their products’ rank and listing performance on Amazon. They make strategic decisions about ad spending and placement that lead to higher traffic, conversions, and revenue for ecommerce brands.
A great Amazon SEO Agency partner will:
Unfortunately, many Amazon SEO agencies profit in unfair ways from your brands’ perceived success based on the ROAS numbers they provide. This is done through including branded search terms in ROAS reports, which naturally skew listing performance.
Let’s say, for instance, your brand is called “Annie’s” and you sell lollipops. Your brand has a very high likelihood of winning the top listing spots on Amazon for lollipop search terms that are paired with “Annie’s,” your brand name. So, SEO agencies will spend your ad money on those terms and report a very high ROAS.
To avoid scenarios like these, it’s best to look for an agency that either calculates their profits on metrics other than your ROAS scores or weighs branded search terms differently in the performance metrics reports. Regardless of your Amazon SEO agency’s cost structure, you should align onbranded search terms before committing to a scope of work.
A great indicator of a high-quality Amazon SEO agency is the level of insight they can provide into your competitors’ listing positioning and how it compares to yours. Data fanaticism is so important at Pattern that we’ve developed proprietary technology to display this exact information with precise detail for every brand we work with. In fact, you can find our free version here to see how you compare to some of your top competitors based on ASIN.
It’s certainly possible to improve your Amazon search performance with blind spending strategies. But a truly great solution will help you to know where your dollars are at their most powerful and competitive.
Amazon’s A10 algorithm prioritizes customer satisfaction—it wants to show consumers the best products that align with their search intent to improve conversions and sales. So, the best way to gain momentum on Amazon is to work on incremental wins.
Improving your performance on more obscure search terms that align with your customers’ search intent is a great way to increase ROAS for the long term. A10 will reward your success with better rankings on higher-volume search terms and the virtuous cycle can help you conquer your most-coveted listing spots. And the best part? This process of gaining momentum, if done right, will naturally decrease your ad spend over time as Amazon recognizes your value and works with you to keep your products at the top of consumers’ search results.
As an Amazon SEO specialist, Pattern knows how to help your brand win better success for long-term profitability on Amazon. With our data-driven tools and brilliant teams of ecommerce experts, we help brands with listing management, content optimization, Amazon ad strategies, and more.
Contact us to learn more about our SEO optimization services.