A Review of Prime Day 2019

Prime Day 2019 has come and gone, but many Amazon sellers are likely still feeling the effects of the increased sales and brand exposure. If they ran successful promotions, their ranking in organic search results has likely improved, which means increased visibility and new customers that will ramp up their sales momentum long after Prime Day.

Amazon reported selling 175 million items and achieving record sales, exceeding 2018’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. Other reports have estimated that the Prime Day event, spanning two days, will have generated $7.6 Billion this year. Small and medium-sized companies got a substantive piece of that pie too, enjoying $2 billion in sales during Prime Day. A rising tide lifts all boats, so even retailers seeking to compete with Amazon experienced a 64% increase in sales on the first day of Prime Day.

A retrospective look at Prime Day 2019 reveals that Amazon’s mid-summer event continues to beat its own records, and that Prime Day’s ultimate goal of recruiting new Prime Members is working. Here’s the breakdown of what worked for Amazon and Amazon Sellers, and what did not.

What worked. . .

Prime day is a boon for most sellers, as even products that are not Prime eligible are shown to move more than they would on non-Prime Days. The increased sales and exposure ranges from 10 to 500% or more depending on the product category and what promotions the seller is running. Well-managed campaigns saw their ACoS drop by 9% and Sales per Click went up 14%. Also, Prime members are increasingly showing up to purchase on Prime Day, with some reports showing that the average hourly spend went up 35% compared to Prime Day in 2018. All these successes were helped by the fact that Amazon experienced less technical difficulties in this go-around, indicating that Amazon has refined their process and can better handle the onslaught. Even though we saw increased sales across multiple categories, it’s important to note the use of promotions and well-managed campaigns still yielded better results over those sellers who only passively participated in Prime Day.

What didn’t work. . .

Unsurprisingly, sellers that ran no promotions did not benefit as much as those who did, though a lack of deals wasn’t the only thing holding sellers back. We saw some sellers who lost the Buy-Box during Prime Day, losing pivotal sales, because off-Amazon channels were carrying the same product at a lower price point in order to compete. These sellers missed out on increased sales and the sales momentum that follows by not coordinating with other resellers and across other channels in advance of Prime Day.

Even those with well-laid plans can’t control or foresee everything on Prime Day. Specifically, it was a surprise that Prime Day coupons, created for Prime members, did not show up for non-members as an incentive for signing-up for Prime. In comparison, Prime Exclusive Deals showed up for non-members and members alike, with non-members being given the option to join Prime in order to access the decreased price. To further complicate coupons, Amazon experienced technical difficulties with coupons in the first few hours of Prime Day. Another issue we saw was that deal tags were not showing up in search results for items with variations. These coupon and deal tag trip-ups underscore the importance of communication with your customer base by using your off-Amazon channels (Facebook, Instagram, email notifications) to keep your customers in the know. To further avoid hiccups, consider having some tools in your back pocket, like a team dedicated to helping you manage your Amazon Seller account.

So What?

Even as other retailers got little bites out of the Prime Day event, it was Amazon who dominated the day. If you’re a seller on Amazon, you’re in a good position, so use it to your advantage. Getting the most out of Prime Day is not only about carefully preparing in advance, but also learning and adapting based on the results of your Prime Day performance. Consider doing a Post-Prime Day assessment of your sales for key insights that will help you prepare for Q4 and future Prime Day events.

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