Prime Day 2020 Forecast: Expected Winners, Losers, & Global Predictions

Hamilton Noel

October 12, 2020

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.

Prime Day 2020 vs. Prime Day 2019

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.

How this year’s Prime Day is different

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.

Expected Prime Day winners

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.

Projected losers

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:

  • Bluetooth earphones
  • Chargers
  • Water bottles
  • Phone cases
  • Leftover summer clothing inventory

International predictions for Prime Day 2020

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.

Need help with your Amazon strategy or increasing your sales on online channels? Contact us using the form below to learn how Pattern helps brands accelerate ecommerce growth and control on online marketplaces!

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Sept 20, 2022

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 20th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon to raise pay and add extra work benefits for delivery drivers Following the rise in fuel prices and protests by Amazon workers, the ecommerce giant is raising its delivery drivers’ pay and adding more work benefits. Amazon has mentioned that it will be investing $450 million into rate increases along with an education program and a Delivery Service Partners program. [Read more on Charged Retail]( Amazon announces it will give away shipping software to merchants at no cost Amazon has recently announced that it will be giving ecommerce merchants free software to manage shopper orders on and off its platform as it extends its reach. The ecommerce giant will be ending monthly costs for sellers using Veeqo, a shipping software it recently acquired and instead offer to them a new, free shipping software. [Read more on Charged Retail]( --- Other Marketplace News --- Walmart unveils new virtual fitting rooms In an effort to drive clothing sales, Walmart has launched virtual fitting rooms while competitors reduce spending amid the cost of living crisis. The virtual try-on tool can be used by Walmart customers to virtually measure the clothing items and see how the products would look on them. Shoppers will now be able to see how over 270,000 clothing items on Walmart’s ecommerce site would look on their bodies. [Read more on Charged Retail]( THG slashes sales and profit expectations The Hut Group has slashed its forecasts for 2022 as rising interest rates, inflation and energy costs take a toll on consumers. Previously, THG estimated its sales growth to be between 22-25% but after a recent evaluation, has lowered this prediction to between 10-15%. Initial predictions did not take into account the negative effects of ceasing sales in Russia and Ukraine along with the impact that the cost-of-living has had on consumer spending. [Read more on Charged Retail]( --- Other Ecommerce News --- DHL and Post Office team up to provide click and collect services Through a partnership between delivery company, DHL and Post Office, a new click and collect service is to be tested at Post Offices before rolling out to over 1000 branches across the UK. Online shoppers will now have the option of choosing their local Post Office as a collection point, and DHL will fulfil the delivery aspect, opening up networks for both parties. [Read more on Charged Retail]( US consumer watchdog plans to further regulate the BNPL sector The US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has raised concerns regarding the collection of consumer data and the fast-growing nature of the BNPL sector, which includes companies such as Affirm and Klarna. The CFPB is worried that these companies could be negatively impacting consumers’ financial health and aims to put better regulations in place to ensure consumers are safe and empowered. [Read more on Charged Retail]( Japanese ecommerce market estimated to grow by 6.9% in 2022 The ecommerce market in Japan, largely dominated by domestic online retailers including Reakuten and Mercari, is set to reach $194.3 billion USD in 2022, after seeing an annual compound growth rate of 5.2% between 2018 and 2021. This makes Japan the fourth leading ecommerce market globally, following China, the US, and the UK. [Read more on Charged Retail]( Ecommerce brands are spending more on TikTok ads TikTok may soon be surpassing Facebook and Google as the most lucrative advertising channel, with ecommerce brands spending 60% more on TikTok ads in Q2. Facebook is still ahead as the top choice for ecommerce advertisers but only grew by 5.6% from Q1, while Google grew 20.5% in Q2, and Snap declined 10.8% in Q2. [Read more on SearchEngineLand](
Sept 20, 2022

4 Ecommerce Consultant Must-Haves

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. 

What is an Ecommerce Consultant?

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.

1. Brand Obsession/Specialization/Passion

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. 

2. Proven Results

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.

3. Wide Range of Marketplace Expertise

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.

4. Network of Resources

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.

Achieve Your Ecommerce Goals With Pattern

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.

Sept 15, 2022

The 3 Tmall Metrics That Every Brand Needs to Know

If you’re interested in expanding your brand internationally, you’re probably familiar with Tmall. Tmall is Asia-Pacific’s (APAC) largest marketplace, and indisputably the biggest ecommerce powerhouse in the world. It represents a huge opportunity for many brands, but entering the space is also a big challenge to take on.

At Pattern, we recommend brands looking to enter international markets should first focus on dialing in their domestic presence. Once you’re satisfied that your brand is well-represented and optimized locally, you’re ready to think about tackling new regions, like APAC, and launching on marketplaces like Tmall. Our top advice for entering Tmall is to understand and strategize around its three most important metrics: service, delivery, and content.

What is Tmall’s Detailed Seller Rating (DSR)?

Service, delivery, and content ratings are the three elements that make up Tmall’s Detailed Seller Rating (DSR) score. Each component is scored on a scale of 1-5 that is displayed publicly on your brand’s Tmall flagship store page. This is meant to help consumers decide whether or not to purchase your products.

Why DSR Determines Success on Tmall

DSR scores are important because they’re highly influential in driving conversions—customers see DSRs as a way to quickly understand if a brand is trustworthy and worth buying from. They also matter quite a bit to Tmall itself—they monitor these scores and will take action to close flagship stores with low scores.

Let’s go over each element of the DSR score and some steps you’ll need to take to achieve high ratings.

DSR Score Elements

1. Service

Service is a huge ecommerce component in APAC marketplaces. In most other regions, product listings are static, and consumers use content and reviews to make a decision about what to purchase. On Tmall, consumers want to interact with your brand and test its validity before buying—each transaction takes at least one human interaction to convert.

So, to get a great service rating, you’ll need to have a large, established customer service team dedicated to Tmall sales that can offer real, human touchpoints and very fast response times. To get an idea of the speed your agents should be capable of producing, in our Tmall benchmarking exercise, 92.5% of brands’ customer service agents replied to queries via live chat within 30 seconds, 5% replied within one minute and the remaining 2.5% of brands took longer than a minute. So, look for a Trade Partner (TP) that has enough resources to compete with those numbers, support your sales, and maintain a good DSR score.

2. Delivery

Another thing you’ll really want to focus on is a high-quality delivery experience for consumers. As in other regions around the world, Tmall consumers have high expectations for their delivery experience. In our Chinese consumer polling report that targeted consumers buying from Tmall Global, we found that 6% expected same-day delivery, 15% expected next-day delivery, and 46% expected 2-5 day delivery.They want to receive their products fast and they want the products to be undamaged and pristine upon arrival.

So, to achieve a high score for your delivery capabilities, we highly recommend partnering with a TP or ecommerce accelerator like Pattern (which serves as a TP) who has the ability to facilitate your distribution. Make sure your TP has the right infrastructure in place to support high-quality logistics experiences for all of your consumers—they should have an established, well-oiled delivery process in place and the capability to fluidly add you to their current fulfillment system.

3. Content

As in every digital marketplace, content is a huge component of the decision-making process for consumers on Tmall—they can’t touch your product with their hands or see it in person before buying, so it’s important they’re empowered to make a good decision on whether or not to purchase based on the videos, images, and copy.

The goal is to make all of the content and relevant information on your flagship site easily-accessible—consumers should be able to visit your page and make a decision about whether or not to buy without navigating to a new site/page and taking their conversions with them. Images with text and extensive product details are a great way to do this, as well as making sure your service team can speak to all aspects of your product with any consumers (via text or chat).

Expand Internationally With Pattern

As the world’s foremost brand partner for ecommerce acceleration, Pattern truly understands the significance of international expansion. With regional offices around the world, Pattern knows how to successfully launch and grow brands on Tmall and other marketplaces, with the data, insights, and marketplace intelligence to build the metrics that matter. 

It’s important to have a fantastic brand presence, a knowledgeable guide, and a clear go-forward strategy for your best chance at success. With our in-country resources, expert teams, and extensive experience in growing brands around the globe, Pattern can help you get there.

Set up a call to get your international expansion strategy in motion.