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A “Prime” Opportunity for Advertisers

Published: June 3, 2021

Author: Diana Gordon

Insights from the Experts: eCommerce Series. Diana Gordon, VP, eCommerce & Marketplace Strategy

Well, the cat is out of the shopping bag – Bloomberg News reported last week that Amazon’s United States Prime Day will be held this month from June 21-22, which Amazon has confirmed. Typically held the second week in July, Amazon was forced to postpone Prime Day multiple times in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, finally holding the event in October.

A more appropriate name for this event would be Prime Days because in recent years, Amazon has extended the savings over multiple days with many merchants offering early Prime Day Deals. Prime Day is not just about product sales, but is also a catalyst event for Amazon to expand its Prime Membership program and drive sales of its own devices including Echo, Firestick, Ring, and more.

In a Q1 investor call, Amazon confirmed the decision to move up Prime Day this year, citing concerns of a transportation slow down and the Tokyo Olympics occuring in Q3. The timing of Prime Day 2021 will enable shoppers to take advantage of deep discounts and savings in the lead up to the July 4th holiday weekend, which will be much closer to normal compared to last year when the pandemic was raging in the United States. In a different move, Amazon has entirely canceled Prime Day for Canada and India, where cases of COVID-19 have risen and mandatory stay-at-home orders are still in place.

How Brands Can Take Advantage

For Amazon merchants and advertisers, Prime Day is a pivotal moment that can have a massive impact on a brand’s annual sales plans. In years past, Amazon Advertising has had strict guidelines requiring major discounts for merchants wanting to participate in Prime Day sponsorship packages. The process for purchasing media was a harrowing experience for many brands, as the limited packages were released without much advance notice and were awarded on a first come, first serve basis. In a change this year, Amazon Advertising opted to reduce or eliminate the discount requirements and hold a silent auction for the various sponsorships available. One can assume that in a year where eCommerce grew at a rate of 44%, Amazon was confident that a bidding war was inevitable.

Smaller brands or less risk averse advertisers that won’t be a Prime Day sponsor can still get in on the action. Amazon Advertising’s self-service media offerings, including sponsored products, sponsored ads, and Amazon DSP are great cost-effective ways to get your brands and products in front of your target audience without a big upfront investment.

However, brands shouldn’t forget their other retailer partners during Prime Day. You can expect other retailers, including Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and Kohls, to counter with big sales events of their own to entice customers. Advertisers should also maximize their digital voice in comparable retail media networks including Walmart Connect, Roundel, and Criteo.

With less than three weeks to go until Prime Day, now is the time for brands to review their current advertising strategies and see what efforts they can take incrementally to remain visible and available for their customers at both Amazon and other retailers.

It’s not too late to ensure that Amazon’s biggest sales day of the year is a success for your brands and products. Interested in learning how? Reach out to speak with our eCommerce experts!

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