Retailers Look to Scale Prime Day Results Across External Channels
Prime Day was a more muted affair this year, but by most metrics, the two-day event was still a wildly successful promotion for Amazon.
Despite macroeconomic events like inflation and supply chain issues impacting consumer spending, Amazon still managed to generate significant traction on social media by leaning into influencer marketing and engaging users around the #PrimeDay hashtag.
The company took full advantage of its Amazon Live platform to run QVC-style live chats hosted by social media creators and celebrities like Miranda Kerr and Kevin Hart. It also developed an educational hub to help sellers boost ad performance and drive more sales during the Prime Day promotion.
Prime Day’s impact can be seen across the retail sphere. With each year that goes by, more multi-location brands and retailers are attempting to piggyback on Amazon’s success by dropping their prices and running similar copycat promotions.
Is that enough to keep pace? Probably not.
According to Brent Ramos, director of product search at Adswerve, retailers should be focusing on their search strategy during the run-up to Prime Day each year. Coming up with strong search advertising initiatives and first-party data strategies is the best plan of action for retailers that want to keep up.
“In the midst of Prime Day, doubling down on a strong keyword, shopping, brand and non-brand search strategy centered specifically around Prime Day terms and products will help augment the battleground occurring over on Amazon and drive topic-minded consumers from the SERP directly to the site,” Ramos says.
A number of retailers have managed to successfully imitate the hype around Prime Day for their own offerings. Target and Walmart are two of the biggest players that come to mind. These retailers have found success by implementing personalized advertising campaigns and leveraging first-party data on known customers to drive awareness and attention outside the walls of Amazon.
Ramos says the question retail executives should be asking themselves now is how they can scale Prime Day results across other channels where they can maintain control of brand and margin. Prime Day delivers a desirable consumer experience at scale, and Ramos says other retailers should try to scale this methodology across their external performance channels if they see value.
“Retailers often weigh a Prime strategy against their risk profile of pinching margins, brand safety, and ability to manufacture at scale to meet demand. But Prime’s convenience factor for the consumer often outweighs brand-side risks, because it is undeniably the main channel of putting product in people’s hands,” he says. “No matter how much love a consumer may have in a retailer’s brand equity, the sheer convenience of Prime can deter even the most faithful away from any D2C efforts.”
Ramos suggests that retailers treat Prime Day like a wide-net brand cast. One strategy might be to place two or three “hero” products, with the understanding that margins are being pinched and brand safety is compromised, but the introduction of the retailer’s brand to large scale audiences will pay dividends for new customer acquisition. Additionally, he says brands should supplement Amazon advertising with their own paid search efforts and first-party data strategies, to drive Prime Day equivalent clicks, or Prime Day searchers not on Amazon back to their websites.
“Prime Day sales are a testament to the importance of leveraging search-esque, product based, visual advertising for all retailers. Although Prime and other marketplaces are not traditional SERP’s, they operate on the same foundation of user generated queries,” he says. “D2C efforts where brands can strengthen margins via search, social, and organic can eclipse Prime ROI if they can execute it well. Tactically, this will likely involve agility with first-party data accumulation and activation, which will also depend on the right tech stack to successfully deploy. But the retailers taking steps into this now, will be the ones winning down the line.”